Ibrahimovic and Beckham make World Cup bet

Ibrahimovic and Beckham make World Cup bet

Ibrahimovic and Beckham make World Cup bet

The fans who serenaded their side at the Samara Arena stayed long after fulltime to herald the achievement, knowing that with so numerous favourites having departed, England have arguably their best chance of global glory in more than half a century.

England faces off with Sweden in the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.

It was just a second England victory over Sweden in nine competitive meetings, and sets up a clash with either hosts Russian Federation or Croatia on Jul 11 in Moscow for a place in the final.

Far more fancied England sides had failed to reach the last four in the past but Gareth Southgate's young squad powered on as they continued to make a mockery of dampened pre-tournament expectations with another impressive display in Russian Federation.

The stadium in Samara was only 80 per cent full and dominated by local Russians, but back home the support seems to be unwavering, with memes, jokes and a Southgate love-in hard to ignore for a generation of England players who are digitally savvy.

Swedish sportsman Zlatan, who now plays in the United States and has represented Sweden in two World Cups, took to Instagram on Friday to challenge the former England captain. But even if Southgate is forced to make changes, he's confident it won't be to the detriment to the team's performance. But the performances of Gareth Southgate's young lineup in Russian Federation are being celebrated wildly back home.

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

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Dele Alli, who has endured fitness issues and some criticism at the World Cup, added a second goal to secure England's passage, while last-16 penalty shootout hero Jordan Pickford again proved his worth in goal.

One of the players, reports Daily Mail, was overheard saying: "We could do without this today".

In comparison, more fans are expected to watch the game at a single free screening at Nottingham Castle, where there will be 3,000 cheering on England. They have met 23 times with seven wins apiece while nine meetings have been drawn.

The goal was scored at 30 minutes by defender Harry Maguire.

A chant of "On our way, on our way, to Moscow, on our way" came from England fans in one corner of the Samara Arena. Sterling got hold of the loose ball but his shot was deflected over.

Both said they would be supporting Sweden, not because they want England to lose, but because they want Germany to remain the only team to beat the Scandinavian side in this World Cup.

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