After an absolutely heroic performance in England’s match-up against Colombia, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford proved himself a force to be reckoned with once more.
After another outstanding performance in the quarter final against Sweden fans are going absolutely wild for the Everton keeper.
Even though England were 2-0 up in the second half against Sweden, there was no way the Three Lions were going to take their feet off the gas.
Determined to keep a clean sheet, Pickford had to be on high alert as Sweden threatened to earn a second half lifeline.
Striker Marcus Berg hit a powerful shot which looked destined for the net, but Pickford dived low and to his right to block the attempt with a brick-like fist. Just a few moments later, the 24-year-old keeper jumped at full stretch to tip a rising shot, again from Berg, over the top of the crossbar.
England made it through to the semi-final, and looked pretty darn good as they did, with Pickford proving himself to be invaluable once again.
The young keeper has been outstanding. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed by fans.
Though he’s definitely got a decent career in football ahead of him, some people are suggesting more for the 24-year-old:
Pickford for prime minister
— TGE (@TGE_LDNM) July 7, 2018
Knight Jordan Pickford now, Christ alive
— Matty (@Matty___96) July 7, 2018
If there is only one knighthood available it should go to Pickford #EngSwe
— Martin (@Martin_Hiscock) July 7, 2018
The praise didn’t stop there. And rightly so:
jordan pickford could’ve saved the titanic
— jam (@JamieClay_) July 7, 2018
off to PC world, replacing my hard drive with Jordan Pickford. That man can save anything #ENGSWE
— Jamie Andrew Iceton (@M_Ignorum) July 7, 2018
— Scott Sutter (@scott_sutter) July 7, 2018
— Andy Haigh (@Wolverinesclaws) July 7, 2018
I love this picture of Jordan Pickford pic.twitter.com/zFSRLYMTq5
— Kai French (@Kaiger92) July 7, 2018
Jordan Pickford is like… pic.twitter.com/DlVMp2HY5A
— Amelie (Ammo) Curtis (@ammocurtis) July 7, 2018
Pickford has even caught the eye of hard man Ross Kemp, who had these words of encouragement for him:
And good for measure, here’s a stunner of a save from the first knock out game against Colombia:
— Francis Keogh (@HonestFrank) July 4, 2018
In case you’ve made it this far and don’t know what we’re talking about, England have gone one step closer to achieving the ultimate dream of lifting the coveted World Cup trophy after beating Sweden 2-0 to reach the semi-finals of the competition.
This will be the first time England has reached a semi-final in a World Cup tournament since Italia ’90.
The Three Lion’s secured their victory via goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli either side of half time.
The first 45 started quietly until the 30th minute when Maguire headed in from a corner.
In the second half, England finally grabbed their second from another header, this time coming from Dele Alli who connected with an Ashely Young cross in the 58th minute.
Expect every corner of England to be a scene of joy and pandemonium for the whole day today as the national team is one step closer to reaching their first finals since 1966. The Three Lions entered this tournament with one of the youngest and most inexperienced squads. Furthermore, expectations were relatively low.
However, Southgate has given the team – and by extension, the country – renewed pride and vigour, a feeling not felt since Euro ’96.
Now with Sweden put to rest in today’s quarter-final England can focus on preparing for a semi-final clash with Croatia on Wednesday.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.