Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

'We were fantastic' - Kane buzzing to lead England into semi-final

'We were fantastic' - Kane buzzing to lead England into semi-final

At least in some sections of the country riven by economic, political and social divisions that led to Brexit, reaching the World Cup semifinals is a welcome distraction from the charged atmosphere.

Sweden last made it to the semifinals in 1994.

On Saturday, England survived their appointment in Russia's Samara against Sweden to set up their first World Cup semi-final appearance since 1990.

Goals in each half from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli clinched victory for Gareth Southgate's men in their first quarter-final in the competition since 2006, while goalkeeper Jordan Pickford produced a hat-trick of stunning saves to maintain his clean sheet.

"So much preparation for this game, a quick recovery from the last round [a penalty shootout defeat of Colombia]", Kane said to BBC Sport. We had to score those of course but we were faced with a good team.

England have avoided several title contenders in a more favourable half of the draw, but Southgate said the success of the nation's youth teams was a clear indicator of the talent coming through.

"We're hungry for more, we want that feeling, if it goes to extra time and penalties we'll be ready".

England supporters at the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

"I believe that they will be perfectly able to go all the way".

"We have to stay seven days anyway", he said.

Leicester defender Maguire headed in the opening goal from a corner on 30 minutes, with Alli adding a second just before the hour.

Over the years, England have been on the wrong side of good fortune more times than they care to remember at this stage of a World Cup.

Ashley Young was lining up for the cornerback more than halfway through the first frame.

As reward for their efforts, England face Croatia, who defeated tournament hosts Russian Federation on penalties.

"I thought we did well, did well". I'd like to pay tribute to both the team and the coach.

The last time Sweden reached the semi-finals was in United States of America 1994 where they finished third while England last made it into semi-finals in Italy 1990. It's a chance to clamber onto traffic lights, fling beer in the air and toast the success of the footballers in an outpouring of delirium not witnessed across England since the last century.

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