England 2 Sweden 0FT
In this quarter final we would see the birthplace of football against an unlikely Underdog with a place in the semi-final at stake. Football was originated hundreds of years ago in England it does not only the birthplace of football but one of the most competitive and most watched leagues in the world. The Premier League is by most people standards the best football league in all of Europe. England won the World Cup in 1966 and have spent every World Cup and Euros since trying to prove their significance to the world. Having failed in Brazil 4 years ago and being knocked out of the Euros by Iceland in 2016 was truly embarrassing there wasn’t a lot of positivity in regards to the national team. In fact England has had some pretty bad luck over the years having gone down on penalties 3 times in the world cup. They have been on the receiving end of the David Beckham sent off and Diego Maradona hand of God goal. In This World Cup they have shown a new blood in a new era with Harry Kane leading this group to battle. As England approached this quarter-final having overcome the adversity to finally win a penalty shootout in an World Cup. England found themselves on the verge of a first semi-final since 1990. They did go on to lose in the semifinals but this England team has made great progress at this tournament. Their fans often like to chant it’s coming home referring to bring the World Cup back to England. While I don’t believe that will happen this is an England team that have a pathway to be in the final. They went up against a Sweden team that was not even expected to be here as the Sweeds led by Emil Forsberg got themselves into the quarterfinal hoping to spoil England party. England would get one step closer to the final beating Sweden 2-0 behind goals from Harry MaGuire and Dele Alli as they lead England to the semi-final. England will face either of Croatia or Belgium in this semi which will give them a pretty good chance at being in the final and mascot. England is finally getting the respect they deserve after being tagged as choke artist in the past despite but now England sit to Windsor Way from bringing the World Cup home.
Sweden ended up winning their group by surprise as they were not even on the radar. They followed that up by getting a fairly easy matchup for the round of 16. Sweden ended up facing off against Switzerland a team of similar skill level an ability. It was a hard-fought tough game throughout the 90 minutes but in the end they found themselves Victorious. Largely behind their superb defensive display. Emil forsberg the Bundesliga star scored Sweden’s only goal in a 1-0 victory. As Sweden Advanced to their first quarter finals since 2002 despite despite not having legendary Striker Latin Ibrahimovic Sweden were able to get further in the tournament than they ever did with Sweden’s best ever player. This Sweden team got further than anyone ever expected them to getting a crack at a quarterfinal matchup with an outside shot at a semi final for a team that wasn’t even expected to get out of their group. They worked extremely hard to get to the quarterfinals and despite being heavy underdogs they never gave up. England on the other hand finished second in their group only to Belgium in what was one of the least challenging groups in the entire tournament. In the round of 16 they faced off against Colombia a very strong and creative team but were missing their best player James Rodriguez. The game against Columbia was a bloodbath dirty tackles coming from Every Which angle with Colombia playing with intense physicality. England was awarded penalty And Harry Kane stepped up put it away to give England the lead. The game remained very physical very dirty very nasty but it had looked like England were getting through. However on the brink of death Columbia equalized in stoppage-time to force extra time. It ended up going past extra time into the dreaded penalty shootout. England’s success in penalty shootouts is very well-documented they’re not very good at them. In fact in the World Cup they had never won a shootout but this was a different England. England ended up against the odds winning the shootout against Colombia large part due to the incredible goalkeeping abilities Jordan Pickford who I think has been England’s best player. England took the shootout and advanced to their first quarter finals since 2002. Setting up a rather easy Pathway to the final as England faced Sweden but no matter who was playing both teams weren’t going to back down and what would be a special World Cup quarter-final.
England would be favorites going into the quarter-finals despite the fact they hadn’t put together a really strong performance yet. Meanwhile on the Sweden side of things they had a fairly easy route to the quarter-final as Switzerland was not the most imposing team. In the early part of the game Sweden came out with a lot of energy and looked really strong attacking the ball as well as defensively. Sweden had a few early Chances with Forsberg but they can only maintain that style of play for so long.. eventually the game opened up a little more for England allowing them to play the way they wanted to. England controlled possession and I thought did a great job of moving the ball around. Sweden eventually had to concentrate purely on defending because of the way this England team was attacking them Sweden couldn’t take risks at that point of the game because they would have been left wide open and exposed. I thought Sweden did a really good job this time but they were unable to as evidently England broke through. Coming off a set piece on the corner Leicester city Defender Harry MaGuire connected on the header putting it in the back of the net to give England the 1-0 lead near the half-hour mark. England took their lead into the second half as England looked to be in serious control of the game. Every once in awhile Sweden would come forward and do something dangerous but that didn’t matter because everything they did got denied by Jordan Pickford who has been absolutely incredible during this world cup. England continuously looked dangerous and in the second half they put the game away for good when keiran tripler sent a superb cross into Dele Alli as the Spurs star connected on a header putting it in the back of the net to give England the 2-0 lead. England played incredibly well they were able to operate on a high level. This is the England team I wanted to see against Colombia they finally were showing their quality in this tournament. After England doubled their lead Sweden continuously came forward as they tried to take it up a notch. On several occasions late in the second half Sweden came extremely close to scoring but the goalkeeping heroics Jordan Pickford denied any opportunity they had. Sweden never gave up but it was always going to be too much to overcome as England top Sweden 2-0 in the world cup quarter-finals to make their first semi final since 1990. England will face Croatia semi-final. Which will very much play into England’s advantage this England team if they can repeat that performance will have a serious chance at the final. They will face Croatia a team that has the ability to seriously challenge them. I think Croatia would have a slight would have a slight advantage over England but I wouldn’t put it past this England team if they can repeat the performance that they have a very good chance of making the World Cup final. Croatia is deep and England will have to deal with Luka Modric Ivan rakitic Mario Mandzukic Ivan perisic and more which you could argue that that team has more Talent then England. I favor a narrow Croatia win but this is certainly winnable for England it could have been a lot more difficult they match up they will end up getting is easier then the ones on the other side of the bracket. I think France will win the World Cup but if England can ride this momentum and get hot maybe football could come home after all.