The Semi Finals – England Successfully Achieve Them

I have just returned home to Devon. On Saturday I was up in the midlands seeing my son who graduated this weekend. Great timing eh? Actually it was perfect! The festivities finished at 2.45pm so we were able to leg it round to his digs to see the game.

England turned out an unchanged team, which was a little surprising as a number of knocks were reported. However that consistency seems to be helping the side. After a bit of a scrappy start, the Swedes got an early chance but it came to nothing.

England started to build a bit of pressure with some good moves started in their own half. Trippier and Stirling seemed to really worrying the Swedish back four. Then on 30 minutes, England won a corner. Young delivered a superb cross which Harry powered in via his head. Not not that Harry, the other one! Maguire moved really well to create space to enable him to head the ball sweetly in for his first England goal. 1-0 England! Apparently Maguire is the first player to score his first England goal in a World Cup knock out game, since Rio Ferdinand in 2002 who scored against Denmark.

Not long after, Henderson put a brilliant ball through for Stirling who controlled the ball, but the keeper managed to smother it and although Stirling got a second half chance, he couldn’t extend the lead. England finished the half strongly, seemingly having the measure of the Swedish defence.

The Swedes started the second half stronger, really they had no choice if they wanted to get back into the game. Pickford had to make a superb one handed save from Berg to keep the scores level. However England slowly started to build momentum again. Kane was fouled and Young delivered a great cross Maguire hit the ball across with his head but England couldn’t capitalise. England were now building pressure again and looked the most likely to score.

Just after the above chance, England passed the ball looking for the opening and it eventually came to Trippier, (my man of the match), who put a superb cross in which found Ali who headed the ball in just before the hour mark. England were now 2-0 up and in control.

In Croydon, they went nuts. Who can afford to through beer around – TWICE!

However give Sweden credit, they came back and not long after the second goal, Berg had another great chance, but again Pickford saved using one hand, this time the other way.

England then broke again and won a corner the ball bounced around and eventually fell to Maguire who had a clear shot at goal and he blazed it over. THEN Berg again had another chance, this time Pickford tipped it over the bar. (Is this the goalkeeping equivalent to a hatrick?!)

It was end to end. Sweden did win a free kick on the edge of the box but it sailed high over the bar. Right at the end England broke again, but this time they kept the ball and this time the ref blew and England we in the Semi-finals! Cue pandemonium in my son’s house.

Keiran Trippier was brilliant, however Stirling, Young, Henderson and Pickford all played well too. Pickford’s saves kept our first clean sheet in the competition.

So now we have to prepare for Wednesday’s game against Croatia, who knocked Russia out on penalties.)

There are no easy games now, however when you get this far, anything can happen.

It’s coming home!

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3 Comments on The Semi Finals – England Successfully Achieve Them

  1. England seem to be going well but they are not , they have gone off the boil ,,Kane isn’t getting a look in because we are playing only one out and out striker .. if fit Vardy must play up front .with Kane as Kane is being marked out of games ..sterling is to greedy and keeps running into a wall instead of passing it ,,6 + shots on target and not 2 …or else your luck will run out …come on

  2. DavidJames what football have you been watching? Sterling has been awesome. So what he’s had trouble scoring. Are you basic stat man? Any idiot (even my missus called it) that Sterling is causing defences all sorts of problems and winning us set pieces, which has been our main source of goal. Dont change anything. NOTHING.

  3. You may have been a little harsh, Steve0, DavidJames’s views have been borne out by the fact that Sterling didn’t score, and didn’t cause enough of a problem. It seemed like Kane was carrying an injury and – in my opinion – shouldn’t have been starting. A huge pity we didn’t go that step further as – after the first half – Croatia were there for the taking…but Croatia grew into the game…tiredness not a factor for them at all, while it certainly seemed it was for us…even into today’s ‘dead rubber’ when the Belgians proved to be a different class in the first half and the second half again proved Kane had lost his scoring boots. Golden boot winner or not, he could have done better if he’d been on form, and he clearly wasn’t in the knockout stages. A real case of what could have been. We may yet win the next five World Cups, or never even see the Semi-Finals again. Such is the nature of the ‘beautiful game’…

    Keep Right On.

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