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England reaches World Cup semifinals, beats Sweden 2-0

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SAMARA, RUSSIA - JULY 07: Kyle Walker, John Stones, and Jesse Lingard of England celebrate following their sides victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Sweden and England at Samara Arena on July 7, 2018 in Samara, Russia.

SAMARA, Russia — England achieved something David Beckham’s generation never managed: It reached the semifinals of the World Cup.

Harry Maguire and Dele Alli scored with headers in a 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday, earning England a match against either Croatia or host nation Russia for a place in the final.

England has advanced further than was widely expected. Not even the England side from the early 21st century, containing stars like Beckham, Steven Gerrard and a young Wayne Rooney, ever got this far at a major tournament.

England, the 1966 World Cup champion, last reached the semifinals in 1990. In 2014, the team didn’t even make it out of the group stage.

The surprising run in Russia is being fuelled by goals from set pieces, and there was another against Sweden when Maguire headed in a corner from Ashley Young in the 30th minute.

Alli added the second goal by meeting a far-post cross from Jesse Lingard with a powerful header in the 59th.

The Swedes were playing in the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 1994, when they reached the semifinals.

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