Players keen to make country proud after amazing fan support

England’s scorers Dele Alli and Harry Maguire give their reactions to the 2-0 win over Sweden, alongside Harry Kane

Saturday 07 Jul 2018
England fans' support has made all the difference to the players
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England players showed their support for the Three Lions fans after their amazing 2-0 win over Sweden which sealed a place in the World Cup semi-final.

Harry Maguire scored his first international goal followed by a header from midfielder Dele Alli.

Captain Harry Kane said: “We’ve had so much preparation for this game, we made a quick recovery from the second round, so I thought it was fantastic today.

"It was a difficult game, Sweden made it tough, they play long balls which is different to what we’ve faced so far, but we created a few brilliant set pieces and crosses in the box, so yeah, we’re buzzing."

Maguire is only the fourth player to score their first goal for England in a knockout game in a World Cup. 

“You can’t get better than that, winning a quarter final of the World Cup, it’s taken us through”, he said. “Winning is the main thing, that’s always what we set out to do and we’ve done that today.”

Harry Maguire scored his first goal for England in the World Cup against Sweden

“We felt like we could dominate the ball today, we controlled the play. We were a bit sloppy towards the end of the second half where it was a bit too open.

"We knew what we’d worked on and what would hurt them today, we knew set pieces were a big thing, and obviously the little box cross as well that Jesse put in for Dele, we worked on that in training so credit to the staff and the players executing it.”

This England squad has now scored 11 goals in the World Cup, equalling the team from 1966. However, captain Kane is already looking ahead to their next match.

“We know there’s a big game ahead," he said.

"Obviously we’re through to the semi-final, but we’re feeling good, we’re feeling comfortable. Today was great, we looked composed, we looked like we controlled the game, so we just have to go again. We’re enjoying it, I know the fans here are enjoying it, and the fans back home - I know we’ll see some videos tonight of everyone enjoying it, so we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing and make our country proud."

Alli was keen to put the success of the team down to fan support at home and in Russia.

He said: “It’s a great achievement for the team, we owed it to the fans back at home, we see how they’ve all been supporting us and believing in us and it was a good performance again for the team."

“It’s always nice to score, especially on occasions like this. I don’t feel like this was my best performance personally on the pitch, but to get a goal on an occasion like this is unbelievable. For the team and the country to be going to the semi-final is an amazing feeling.”

Dele Alli celebrates his header against Sweden

“It was a real graft out there. It was one where we had belief in the game plan, we kept playing the way we wanted to play and how we know we can play as a team, dominating possession, but being patient as well, because Sweden have proved in all their other games they’re a difficult team to play against.

"They don’t concede a lot of chances so it was important we stuck to what we were doing, we kept moving the ball as quickly as we could and waited patiently for the opportunities.

“[Jordan] Pickford proved in the last game how big he is for this team, and he proved it again today. We’ll all be celebrating together."

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By FA Staff