Southgate's England shows maturity and smartness in confident win

Angelo Anderson
July 8, 2018

Following England's momentous 2-0 win in Samara on Saturday night, Southgate singled out veterans Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck and the "older ones" for being exceptional in their mentality despite riding the bench.

Lee, who is originally from Stockton-on-Tees but now lives in Korea, said: "There weren't too many heart-in-the-mouth moments, compared to the Colombia game, so I'm pumped. I do think [Harry] Kane can bring them to the final, because neither Russian Federation or Croatia are unbeatable teams for them".

"I've been to a few World Cups since 2006 and unfortunately England never does that well, so it's really exciting to see them get through to the semis".

England fans celebrate in the stands after their side win the FIFA World Cup 2018 round of 16 match at the Spartak Stadium, Moscow.

"They controlled the game, they weren't overly flamboyant in any way and I think he's not just got a positivity, but a real calmness about the way he does things".

And it was surely the kind of game that manager Gareth Southgate had in mind when he opted not to go all out to top the group in the final group stage defeat by Belgium.

"I'm not sure he's always believed that but he's a super talent, a super player and his use of the ball is as good as any defender in the tournament".

As of Friday, Fifa ticket sales for the game stood at 32,000, meaning there were almost 10,000 unsold tickets, which was said to be normal for the Samara Arena.

"They have got a hell of a chance and I don't think us as a nation will get a better chance of going all the way to the final, so I hope they grasp it". The Croatians lost to France in the semis 20 years ago.

"Hopefully one more game and we're in the final".

He said: "It's going to be hard".

In just his eighth global appearance, Pickford became the youngest English goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet at the World Cup by flying left and right to deny Marcus Berg and Viktor Claesson before showing his agility by tipping another rising Berg effort over.

Nigel O'Hara, 59, from Bradford, donned a shirt with Gascoigne on the back in a nod to midfielder Paul Gascoigne who played in England's last World Cup semi-final at Italia 90. It's our turn this time, hopefully. "I've kind of put my affiliation to Scotland, but I've always followed England's men's team quite a bit. I've got Hendo (Jordan Henderson) to thank for that". "He balances that as well as anyone I've seen".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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