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Pickford guides England through to World Cup semis

Everton goalkeeper kept a clean sheet with a series of second-half saves

Sweden v England: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made a series of outstanding saves in the second half as England brushed aside Sweden to qualify for their first World Cup semifinals since 1990.

Headed goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli had put the Three Lions in front, but Pickford quelled any hopes of a Swedish comeback with three stunning saves, pushing aside a header low to his left, and then saving a low shot to his right and following those up by tipping another header over the bar to kill off their opponents.

Sweden will consider themselves unfortunate to have run into an inspired Pickford, much like Colombia did a few days ago. The youngster is certainly in the running now for the tournament’s Golden Glove award, handed to the best goalie of the World Cup and won previously by stars like Manuel Neuer, Iker Casillas, Gianluigi Buffon and Oliver Kahn.

If nothing else, Pickford has certainly silenced his detractors who just a week ago were harping on about his short stature (he’s 6’1”, come on!) and arm length (it’s how you use them!), but will now watch him backstop England in the World Cup semifinals.