Harry Maguire said England “can’t get better than that” after Saturday’s 2-0 World Cup quarterfinal win over Sweden, but fellow scorer Dele Alli saw room for personal improvement.
Maguire’s header following a corner gave England the lead on the half-hour before Alli doubled the advantage with a header in the second half.
It was a first international goal for the Leicester City man, who was thrilled that it had come on such a big stage.
“You can’t get better than that and we’re through — that’s the main thing,” Maguire told the BBC. “We felt we could dominate the ball today. We knew set plays would be a big thing.”
Alli, however, said he had enjoyed better games despite breaking free to score at the back post in the 58th minute.
“It’s always nice to score, especially in occasions like this,” the Tottenham player said. “I don’t think it was my best performance, but to get a goal is unbelievable and it’s an amazing feeling to get to the semifinal.
“It was a real graft out there, but it was important we had belief in the gameplan and to dominate possession. It was important we kept moving the ball quickly and waited for the opportunity.”
Alli also had praise for goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who made three fine saves en route to a clean sheet.
“Jordan Pickford proved in the last game how big he is for this team and we will all be celebrating together,” he said.
Captain Harry Kane said the performance would serve England well going forward, with the Three Lions two wins from lifting the trophy.
“I thought we were fantastic. We faced the long ball — different to what we have faced before — and we’re buzzing with the result,” Kane said.
“We know there is a big game ahead with the semifinal but we are feeling good and we’re confident. We just have to go again. We are enjoying it and we’ve got keep doing what we are doing and make the country proud.”