Zlatan Ibrahimovic loses England-Sweden bet to David Beckham


Fresh from his heroics in Tuesday's shootout, the goalkeeper's latest fine display helped England keep their first clean sheet of the tournament as this band of brothers reached the semi-final without incurring a suspension or any real injury concerns. Croatia, England's next opponents, have constantly varied formation and shifted around their team but Southgate is unlikely to react.

Southgate can now turn his attention to scouting Russia's and Croatia's strengths and weaknesses as he begins plotting ways to guide England to a first final since 1966.

11 - Dele's goal was England's 11th at Russian Federation 2018, equalling the country's record of most goals at a single World Cup set in 1966, the first and only edition when they went on to lift the trophy.

Employed deeper, to the left of Jordan Henderson, he has been asked to fulfil a different role for England and it is taking some adapting to.

Coming home? England fans whoop it up in London after the match.

"The chance to connect everybody through football and to make a difference to how people feel", England coach Gareth Southgate said, "that is even more powerful than what we are doing with our results".

"I know the fans here are enjoying it", Kane said.

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But he stressed that, despite the elimination of a host of big names from the tournament in Russia, England would be taking nothing for granted.

There was another against Sweden, with Maguire heading in a driven corner from Ashley Young in the 30th minute.

But he stuck to his guns and will now have an ever greater belief that trying to fit Dele, Sterling and Jesse Lingard into the same team can work.

England were the better team here by some distance and deserved the victory although there was little of the drama and tension of the penalty shoot-out win over Colombia in the last 16.

Sterling and Harry Kane have formed a far more effective partnership than has been recognised.

And as players started to collect millions in salaries from their clubs, commitment to the national team was called into question.

The fear was England would pay the price but Pickford made the first of his hat-trick of saves as Sweden finally responded when Marcus Berg met a cross, above Young, and the goalkeeper dived to his left to push the header out one-handed.