Concerned England fans make the same joke about the referee against Sweden

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Fortunately for Becks, the Three Lions secured a comfortable 2-0 win in the quarter-final and will now play Croatia.

So often the source of letdowns and embarrassments, England's soccer team is a unifying force among players and the nation.

I asked him and he said he was OK, it did not affect him much.

Almost 20 million TV viewers watched England beat Sweden to get to the World Cup semi-finals.

In the end, it was the English who move to the semifinals. The classic was what it meant and what it means the length and breadth of the country but even out here in Russian Federation the sense of excitement can be felt.

Pochettino's Spurs are often derided for not winning any trophies, but the Argentine manager might have created a squad that becomes the foundation upon which England builds its first World Cup success in more than 50 years.

They booked their place by seeing off Colombia in the last-16.

That, in itself, was another sign of progress.

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Sweden were a far cry from the side that denied Holland qualification to the World Cup, knocked Italy out of the play-offs and prevented holders Germany making it out of their group. That record speaks for itself. However, eight of them have come set-plays, which some have argued shows a lack of fluency among the players.

Sweden have never won a World Cup game in which they trailed at half-time, and they rarely looked like addressing that statistic here.

Could it be. coming home?

In a goalless opening half-hour it was hard work.

The Swedes were playing in the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 1994, when they reached the semifinals. It came from a rare moment when they quickened the pace to earn that opportunity.

Having wreaked havoc in the opposition box - thumping in Ashley Young's left-wing corner with a header packing more power than most can generate with their feet, Maguire dealt with the considerable physical threat posed by Ola Toivonen and Marcus Berg with assured calmness. Maguire out jumped the Swedish defenders and put his head on the ball from about six yards out, beating Robin Olsen to the near post netting.

England had not kept a clean sheet in their four previous matches and had Pickford to thank for ensuring they did not concede this time.

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