england world cup

England News: Southgate switches focus to Sweden

5 months ago

In the latest England news, Gareth Southgate has warned his side they cannot “underestimate” Sweden in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final after they saw off Colombia in a dramatic penalty shoot-out win on Tuesday.

The Three Lions won their first ever penalty shoot-out in the World Cup when they overcame the South Americans 4-3 after the match ended 1-1 after extra-time in Moscow.

The result means England are through to their first quarter-final on the world stage since 2006 and are a step closer to finally winning another major tournament to add to the 1966 World Cup triumph.

Next up is Sweden, who edged out Switzerland 1-0 in their last-16 game, and England have a poor record overall against the Scandinavians, managing just two wins in the last 10 meetings.

They have met twice in major tournaments in recent years, with a memorable Joe Cole goal coming in a 2-2 draw in the World Cup in 2006, while England won 3-2 at the European Championship in 2012.

Southgate believes the Swedes may have been “underestimated” in the past and knows his side cannot make that mistake if they are to progress to the semi-finals.

“Now I’m thinking about Sweden,” he said. “They are another team we have a poor record against. We have underestimated them for years.”

Southgate praised his players for the way they kept their nerve to win on penalties after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser against Colombia, with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saving Carlos Bacca’s effort before Eric Dier converted the crucial kick.

He added: “We showed resilience to come back from huge disappointment and kept calm. It’s huge credit to all our players and staff.

“Shoot-outs are tough. We had talked long and hard about owning the process of a shoot-out. They kept calm. The players have taken it all on board. It’s a special moment for us.”

England are 4/9 to qualify for the last four with Coral, while Sweden are 9/5 to go through at their expense.

Southgate’s men are 7/2 to win the World Cup outright, with Sweden priced at 22/1.

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