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


It was a sign of what was to come - direct balls, long throws, pressing - but those basic tactics didn't trouble England.

England needed 30 minutes to break down typically stubborn resistance from Sweden's sound defence. After the game the other night, the joy on everyone's face, we'd worked so hard and to come through that, it makes us even more proud of each other. I would imagine there is a big party at home.

England captain Harry Kane failed to score for the first time in seven matches for his country, but the Tottenham striker is still the leading scorer at this World Cup on six goals. "Onwards" they declare as Maguire leads the celebrations after "England march into the semis" for the first time in 28 years.

"Hopefully with what our junior teams have been doing at worldwide level as well, it will be a sign to all clubs, whether in England or overseas, that English players can play".

Also, how to recover from adversity. I want to pay tribute to the team and the coach.

"Under pressure they suffered", Southgate said.

Southgate stuck with the same team that overcame Colombia on penalties in the last 16, while Sebastian Larsson returned for Sweden after missing the 1-0 win over Switzerland through suspension. England hosts the world's richest soccer competition - the Premier League - but hasn't been able to produce a national team to match.

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England supporters at the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

When the "Football's Coming Home" song was penned in 1996, ahead of Euro 96, the key lyric was of "Thirty years of hurt", but 22 years on, nothing has changed to end that pain. Harry Maguire and Dele Alli scored the goals, as Sweden was denied over and over again by Jordan Pickford in goal, who made three massive saves.

For many English soccer fans, Saturday's game against Sweden was at the top of the "to-do list" and watching it from an English pub is exactly where you'd want to be.

It would be fair to say that Sweden were outperformed by England on the night, and it's something that Andersson agreed with as he rued "small margins" that cost his side a victory. "We only have 33 percent of the league to pick from".

"We are a team who are still improving". And there is so much to love about this new England.

Southgate has singled out the less affluent northern towns where players like Maguire are from.