Sports

England main beneficiaries of set-piece goal glut

England main beneficiaries of set-piece goal glut

Harry Kane was not even born when England last reached the World Cup semifinals 28 years ago, but the Tottenham striker - who has met 1966 final hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst - fully appreciates the weight of history he and his teammates are making in Russian Federation.

Not since 1990 have the Three Lions reached the last four, when the likes of Gary Lineker and Stuart Pearce lost to Germany on penalties.

"It's wonderful to meet any heroes from '66 and it gives you so much inspiration, obviously it's been a long time since England have done well in a major tournament", he said. But the match between Croatia and England is the one that could be even more interesting.

"But we've been a real team and we have got some excellent players, no doubt about that, but the collective strength has been massive".

Sir Alf Ramsey led England to World Cup glory in 1966 (PA Archive). "Maybe I am in the right place at the right time and we all work hard, but the game belongs to the players, the manager has his role, but it is different".

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Standing in their way however is a Croatia outfit coming off two successive penalty shootout victories over Denmark and hosts Russian Federation respectively.

He also converted a penalty in normal time in the last-16 win over Colombia.

The company said it was "aware" of the incident and congratulated England on its win. "I play every game like every other game".

"Even speaking to my family, I didn't feel like I was playing well, especially in the first half".

Sterling caused Sweden plenty of problems in Samara and although he received more flak from some fans for missed chances, David Beckham is the latest former England player to jump to his defence.

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Meanwhile, Dele Alli, who scored England's second goal, said it was a great team performance.

While France have their own plethora of attacking superstars, it will be defensive midfielder N'Golo Kante who holds the key to victory for Les Bleus. "You don't want to watch it back but we know how important it was, going into the World Cup, that we had to go back through it to come out stronger".

"When you look at it like that, obviously it's great, but more importantly it was about the team", he said.

'I just want to make them proud and it's really nice to see my dad - you know I had him as a coach when I was younger and he always wanted me to be a footballer.

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