MX23RW : Tuesday, July 17 02:08:35

Live Commentary: Sweden 0-2 England - as it happened

Live Commentary: Sweden 0-2 England - as it happened
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Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as England book their place in the World Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 victory over Sweden in Samara.

England have earned a place in the World Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 victory over Sweden in Saturday's clash in Samara.

The Three Lions opened the scoring in the first half as Harry Maguire powered a header into the bottom corner, but Sweden went onto the front foot after the break.

However, Dele Alli doubled England's lead with a header at the back post and it helped secure England's first place in the semi-final of this tournament for 28 years.

Find out how all of the action unfolded in Russia courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.


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2.00pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the World Cup quarter-final between Sweden and England. After the ecstasy of Tuesday's triumph over Colombia, England must turn their attentions to facing a team who have kept three clean sheets at this tournament. What kind of side has Gareth Southgate selected for the showdown in Samara? Let's find out...

2.02pmENGLAND XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Henderson, Alli, Young; Lingard, Sterling; Kane

2.04pmSWEDEN XI: Olsen; Krafth, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson; Claesson, Ekdal, Larsson, Claesson; Toivonen, Berg

2.06pmSouthgate had been tipped to make alterations to his team but it is an unchanged starting lineup for the Three Lions. It had been reported that Eric Dier could replace Dele Alli - who has struggled with injury during this tournament - but the more offensive-minded of the two will start this game.

2.08pmAshley Young had also emerged as a fitness doubt after being substituted against Colombia due to a knock but the Manchester United man remains at left wing-back with Danny Rose having to make do with a spot among the replacements.

2.10pmKyle Walker sustained cramp against Colombia and Harry Kane appeared to be carrying some type of injury during the latter stages of the contest, but both have been deemed fit enough to make an appearance in Samara. Jesse Lingard and Raheem Sterling will provide the support for Kane in attack.

2.12pmJamie Vardy has been selected on the England bench, despite suggestions that the forward will play no part in this game. The Leicester City forward is currently carrying a groin injury.

2.14pmAs far as Sweden are concerned, Janne Andersson was aware that he would be forced into at least one alteration. Mikael Lustig is serving a one-match ban for two yellow cards and it has resulted in Emil Krafth being drafted in at right-back.

2.16pmThere is also a change in midfield with Sebastian Larsson being available again after injury and suspension. Gustav Svensson has returned to the substitutes' bench.

2.18pmThe rest of the team remains the same with Andreas Granqvist and Victor Lindelof starting in the centre of defence and Ola Toivonen and Marcus Berg continuing in attack. Pontus Jansson and Martin Olsson - of Leeds United and Swansea City respectively - are among the replacements.

2.20pmEngland have four players who are one booking away from a ban - Walker, Henderson, Loftus-Cheek and Lingard - while Ekdal and Claesson are running the same tightrope for Sweden.

2.22pmWhoever prevails from this encounter will earn a last-four encounter with either Russia or Croatia, who meet this evening. You can, of course, follow all of the action in Sochi with Sports Mole from 6pm, BST.

2.24pmOn Friday, France and Belgium booked their place in the semi-finals with wins over Uruguay and Brazil respectively. Both match reports can be accessed by clicking on the corresponding game below.

Uruguay 0-2 France
Brazil 1-2 Belgium


2.26pmToday marks England's ninth appearance in a World Cup. That's the good news. The bad? The Three Lions have only progressed further on two occasions - in 1966 and 1990.

2.28pmIt has also been 12 years England last won a knockout game at a major tournament without requiring penalties! That came in 2006 when Ecuador were defeated in the World Cup second round.

2.30pmMuch has been made of the performance of England's defence but Southgate's side are the only side remaining in the competition who are yet to keep a clean sheet.

2.32pmOn the attacking front, Kane is looking to become the first England player to score seven goals at the World Cup. Gary Lineker did just that in 1986.

2.34pmFor all of the optimism regarding this England team, they still find goals hard to come by. In 13 attempts, the only time that more than two goals have been scored in a single match was against Panama.

2.36pmWhile England have a poor record when it comes to progressing from World Cup quarter-finals, Sweden do not. They have reached the semis on three occasions in four attempts.

2.38pmSweden are also looking to record their third successive victory at the tournament. They have never put together such a streak in their history.

2.40pmIt's worth keeping an eye on how Sweden perform in the second half today. Five of their six goals in Russia have come after the break.

2.42pmFrom a defensive perspective, they have been excellent and goalkeeper Olsen is looking to become the first Swedish stopper to keep four clean sheets at a single tournament.

2.44pmOlsen's chances are high, however. The only goals that Sweden have conceded in their last six outings were during the 2-1 defeat to Germany. Denmark, Peru, South Korea, Mexico and Switzerland have all failed to find a goal.

2.46pmPREDICTION! This will surely be tight, won't it? England have not made a habit of being a free-scoring team and Sweden barely concede at the back. We expect a 1-1 draw and extra time but whoever emerges from that? We are sitting on the fence!

2.48pmHEAD TO HEAD! Today's fixture represents the 24th meeting between the two nations with both teams registering seven wins apiece!

2.50pmThe first-ever match came all the way back in 1923 but these two sides remain familiar foes with 11 clashes taking place since 1992! England have won just twice, with Sweden prevailing on four occasions.

2.52pmDuring that period, four games have taken place at major tournaments. Sweden prevailed 2-1 at Euro 92, before draws were played out at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. The teams also met at Euro 2012 as England registered a 3-2 success in Kiev.

2.54pmThe most recent encounter came during the same year where Sweden won by a 4-2 scoreline. A certain forward scored all four goals. Click here to read back on that match.

2.56pmIt's time for the two teams to make their way out onto the pitch in Samara. The sun is out and it is 27C but at least the humidity is lower than what it was for Brazil and Belgium last night.

2.58pmA reminder of the two starting lineups...

SWEDEN XI: Olsen; Krafth, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson; Claesson, Ekdal, Larsson, Claesson; Toivonen, Berg

ENGLAND XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Henderson, Alli, Young; Lingard, Sterling; Kane


1 minKICKOFF! Sweden get us underway!

2 minIt's been a quiet start from both sides with England playing the ball about without any real intent, and Sweden prepared to sit tight and get into their defensive shape.

4 minThe opening stages to this game remain uneventful with England showing their patience in possession and Sweden happy enough without the ball. There have been a couple of wayward long balls from England.

6 minEngland win a free kick in the middle of the Sweden half but Henderson tries to be too clever by deliberately playing the ball against a Sweden player when he wasn't 10 yards. The referee waved play on and England then lost the ball.

8 minIt's Sweden turn to get the ball into a threatening area from a deep kick via Larsson but it is flicked away for a throw-in. The ball is thrown into the area but England win a free kick.

10 minNot a whole lot has happened in these first 10 minutes. Both teams are very cautious. It is a massive occasion. It is to be expected.

11 minEngland win a promising position on the right flank through Trippier and Walker but a cross from the latter goes straight into the hands of Olsen.

13 minSHOT! Sweden break the tension with a 30-yard strike from Claesson, whose effort goes over Pickford's crossbar. Decent attempt, though.

15 minSweden have had the better of the play over the past few minutes. England have also had their moments but it is Sweden who look the most threatening.

17 minWe are yet to see anything of England's attacking players. Lingard and Kane have barely touched the ball, while Sterling has been restricted to runs into the channels in an attempt to free up some space.

19 minSHOT! Better from England. An enterprising run from Sterling ends with the ball running into the path of Kane, who drags a shot wide of Olsen's far post. Kane was a good 20 yards out.

21 minNow a Young cross towards the back post needs to be headed clear with Alli lurking at the back post. England are finally starting to show some ambition.

23 minWith five Sweden players having committed themselves forward, England have a chance to counter but although they look to find some space in the final third, the ball eventually travels all the way back to Pickford. Bit disappointing.

25 minEngland are starting to get themselves on top but they still aren't really forcing any work out of the goalkeeper. Trippier just had the chance to cross but his low delivery was deflected into Olsen's hands.

27 minThat said, Sweden have just won a few 50-50 challenges and it has resulted in the momentum swinging back in their favour. On a few occasions, England have been looking for cheap free kicks.

29 minOn the ball, Sterling is causing problems for the Sweden defence but still, those chances are not arriving for England. That said, Sweden are defending very well.

30 minGOAL! Sweden 0-1 England (Harry Maguire)

30 minEngland take the lead! It's another set piece but no-one will care. Young's corner - with no curl or swerve on it - is arrowed towards Maguire who powers a header into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

32 minSouthgate's side have been shaded things but that goal is a bonus. Sweden now need to think about throwing more men forward but England are looking to get their foot back on the ball.

34 minSweden are doing just that but it means that a bit more space is now opening up at the other end and Sterling almost gets onto a long ball down the right.

35 minSHOT! This is a bit of a waste. England launch another move down the right and after the ball is only half-cleared, Henderson sends a volley well over the crossbar.

37 minSweden have responded well to going behind. There is definitely more ambition being displayed but England are still looking for the space in behind. It's a fine balance right now.

39 minKane is still looking to get into the game. Sweden are sitting very deep but it is still not allowing Kane to get any sort of a touch on the ball.

41 minWith less than five minutes to go until the break, it might be worth England trying to slow the pace down even further. We have to remember that England played an extra 30 minutes as recently as Tuesday.

43 minAlmost for England. Trippier sends a diagonal ball over the top of the Sweden defence and Sterling initially brings it down before being crowded out by two Sweden defenders.

45 minCHANCE! Sterling collects the ball out of the air after a sensational through-ball but as the winger looks to go around Olsen, the goalkeeper gets a good touch to the ball. Sterling gets a second chance but he opts against passing to Kane and then sees a shot deflected wide.

45+2 minHALF TIME: Sweden 0-1 England

3.48pmThe half-time whistle goes in Samara and England lead thanks to Maguire's header. Southgate's team have had the better of the game and created the better opportunities but Sweden are still well in this.

3.52pmEngland's goal came on the half-hour mark. Young's corner lacked any curl or swerve but it was directed straight onto the head of Maguire, who got up well to power the ball into the bottom corner of Olsen's net from 12 yards for his first international goal.

3.56pmThe Three Lions have created other opportunities and Sterling should have perhaps done better in the closing stages of that first half, but England will be pleased with how they have worked themselves into the game. Sweden will also be relatively content with their work but going behind will likely lead to a change in approach in the second half.

4.01pmThe two teams are starting to make their way back out onto the pitch in Samara. It doesn't look like any changes have been made by either manager.

46 minKICKOFF! England get us back underway.

47 minCHANCE! Sweden have come flying out of the blocks and a cross from the left finds the head of Berg, who forces Pickford into a stunning one-handed save down to his left.

49 minEngland are persisting with the long ball over the top to Sterling. It's an obvious tactic but they also need to mix things up because Granqvist and Lindelof are wary of it now.

51 minThis feels a completely different half of football. Sweden are more forward-thinking and England are having to try to remain alert in their defensive third. Trippier and Young continue to plough forward, however.

53 minSweden are beginning to get Forsberg on the ball a lot more than they did before the break but on this occasion, the winger's delivery goes over Pickford's crossbar.

55 minEngland threaten from another set piece. A long free kick finds Maguire at the back post but after heading across goal, Sterling miscues an overhead kick. Another delivery goes across the box but it's great defending inside of the six-yard box.

57 minThere are a few gaps there for England to exploit but Sweden continue to survive. Lingard has just seen a long-range effort deflected wide of the post.

58 minThe delivery from the right is a good one but Sweden defend it extremely well, with the ball eventually going out for a throw-in on the far side.

58 minGOAL! Sweden 0-2 England (Dele Alli)

58 minEngland double their advantage! It's composure-personified from Alli. Lingard's's cross from the right gives Alli a free header from eight yards but it's got swerve and flight on it. It's not easy, but the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder heads into the roof of the net!

60 minAs we go through the hour mark, England are looking for more goals. You would think that one more and it's game over. They have to keep their discipline, though.

62 minSAVE! My word, Sweden nearly halve the deficit. A sensational move ends with Claesson's shot from 14 yards being saved by Pickford before Henderson makes a block when the rebound is about to be gobbled up. This is not over.

64 minSweden are on top now. They have throwing men forward, as they have to. England are hanging on a little. The tension!

66 minSUBSTITUTIONS! Sweden make two changes with Toivonen and Forsberg being taken off for Guidetti and Olsson.

66 minCHANCE! England win a corner and Sweden cannot clear the ball. Maguire is waiting at the back post but he sends a left-footed volley high over the crossbar.

68 minI don't think it will be too long before we see some England changes. They are playing well but Southgate may prefer some fresh legs at this stage. The match is very open.

70 minSouthgate is off his seat to applaud England's pressing. It's the right move at this stage but England need to not waste energy at the same time. Twenty minutes to go. Again, Sweden are still fighting.

71 minCHANCE! England lose possession and Sweden press forward. The ball is played in for Berg, who turns and gets a volley away, only to see Pickford pull off another tremendous save in tipping the ball over the bar.

73 minA few England players are starting to tire, especially the attacking ones. Lingard and Sterling have put in such a shift. Delph is being readied.

75 minEngland are doing their best to stretch the game out and make Sweden chase. They are trying to make Sweden wilt. Here comes the change...

77 minSUBSTITUTION! It's Alli who is being withdrawn with Delph being introduced in his place.

78 minNearly a third for England. The ball is worked cleverly before Trippier receives it on the right. A first-time cross is sent across the box but a defender prevents Sterling from converting at the back post.

79 minWe are going to have a break in play while Krafth recovers from coming off worse in a 50-50 challenge with Young.

81 minInto the final 10 minutes we go. Sweden are giving it everything in the final third and it is keeping England honest. There are still legs in this match and England need to be professional.

83 minEngland eat up some more time as Trippier gets to the ball quicker than a Sweden player. The Three Lions have another chance to get the ball into the area.

84 minFor once, it's a terrible ball into the box from Trippier. Here comes another England change...

85 minSUBSTITUTIONS! Dier is the man who is being introduced with Henderson making way. Sweden have also sent on Jansson for Krafth.

87 minBOOKING! Maguire goes into the book for halting a Sweden counter-attack and then kicking the ball away.

89 minMaguire concedes a cheap foul on the edge of the area. Sweden have a chance here. A set piece from 20 yards out.

90 minAugustinsson curls it well over the crossbar. That was the chance, surely?

90+1 minSUBSTITUTION! England make their final change as Rashford replaces Sterling.

90+3 minEngland are two minutes away from a first World Cup semi-final in 28 years. They are going to complete the job, too. What a performance.

90+5 minFULL TIME: Sweden 0-2 England

4.57pmThe full-time whistle goes in Samara and England have booked their place in the semi-finals with a deserved win over Sweden. It took two timely saves from Pickford to give England their platform in this match but it was a thoroughly professional performance. Russia or Croatia await on Wednesday night.

4.59pmThat will be all from Sports Mole for this game. Thank you for joining us today and we hope to see you again later for the remaining last-eight showdown.

If you would like to read our match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.


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England's Dele Alli with manager Gareth Southgate after the match against Nigeria on June 2, 2018
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