'Maybe we won't get this opportunity again', says Southgate

08 July, 2018, 15:16 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Gareth Southgate admits concerns over as many as three players ahead of Sweden

We knew we would have the majority of the ball and it was a case of breaking them down because Sweden are a really well organised team.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that England are reaching the semi-finals for the first time since 1990 in Italy, and have only won the competition once, in 1966. "We are better than this England".

Sweden accounted for the Netherlands and Italy as part of the qualifying campaign, and topped a tough group in Russian Federation that included holders Germany.

Southgate said: "I can imagine all the party going on back home in England after this win, but we are not yet finished, and we are not yet the team we should be".

"This team is the same, you only have to look at their results. We are playing some young players who are barely established at their clubs, never mind in their global careers, but we feel that they are able to play the way we want to play - playing with huge pride, playing with no little quality, showing the sort of mentality to work for the group".

Gareth Southgate's young side face the Scandinavians in Samara at 1400 GMT with a place in the last four against either Croatia or hosts Russian Federation up for grabs.

"We just need to check with Vardy again in the morning. He completed what we'd hoped he would today but slightly separate to the team", Southgate said. "We'll just check if there's any reaction to that".

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Schmeichel praised the sheer variety of England set piece play, which has turned into a "serious weapon" for them at Russian Federation 2018 - three-fourths of their goals have come from the dead ball - and reserved special praise for the scorer of the opener in Samara. The highest paid player in the world sparkled at times on the field, scoring twice, but left the tournament marked mostly by his theatrics on the field.

"That's why I believe I am privileged to work with this team".

"We all think we have a chance of winning it".

As with the previous knockout rounds, if a game finishes level after 90 minutes it will go to extra time for another 30 minutes. "A lot have come through the junior teams together, and they've been able to park their club rivalries at the door".

Kane said the shootout win over Colombia had given his teammates great confidence should a similar scenario arise on Saturday.

But as the saying goes, "if you can't beat them, join them", so some happy couples chose to put the game on for their guests, to stem all the covert football-watching.

Brazil came to Russian Federation with a strong team, a well-liked coach and a great star.



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