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Carlsberg Player of the Week: Harry Maguire heads England home

05:33 EAT 09/07/2018
Harry maguire
The 25-year-old headed home the goal that broke the deadlock for England in their quarter-final against Sweden...

It was a dream-come-true moment for Harry Maguire when he headed Ashley Young's corner delivery into the net past the hapless Swedish defence. Not only did it give England the lead, it also helped him make his mark on the world stage. 

England were the dark horses ahead of the 2018 World Cup, with pundits predicting a difficult ride for the young lions who were led by a charismatic yet low-profile Gareth Southgate. 

And yet, they find themselves in the semi-finals after registering a 2-0 win against Sweden on Saturday.

Drawn alongside Tunisia, Panama and Belgium in Group G, the Three Lions were expected to get past the group stage unharmed but that was supposed to be the end of the road for these Englishmen. They lost to Belgium in their last group match and thereby opened up a door of opportunity - a slightly less dangerous road to the final. 

Now they are a step away from the final of the World Cup. And hidden in the midst of all the praise for the collective effort of this young team is 25-year-old Sheffield-born defender Harry Maguire.

The Leicester City centre-back has been a rock at England's three-man backline. Maguire was extremely effective on Saturday, stopping attacks and heading away dangerous crosses whenever Sweden decided to attack England's box. The former Hull City defender had made seven clearances in the ninety minutes he played against Sweden. 

And just when England needed a way through to break open the Swedish defence, Maguire proved his worth once again through a well-taken set-piece. Thirty minutes into the game, Maguire rose the highest inside the box to head Young's floating corner-kick delivery into the net. The whole of England must have applauded as Maguire wheeled away in celebratory delight after netting his first ever international goal. 

Maguire almost turned provider twice in the second half but his flicked headers across goal had no takers inside the box. A few minutes later, Lingard's cross towards the far post was headed into the net by Dele Alli, sealing England's place in the knockout round. 

Speaking after the match, Maguire revealed that they knew set-pieces would make a difference in the game. "You can't get better than that and we're through - that's the main thing.

"We felt we could dominate the ball today. We knew set-plays would be a big thing."

Maguire won sixty per cent of his duels against Sweden and is set to be a key fixture for Southgate in the upcoming game against Croatia.