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Sweden win the "Janne Way"

2018 World Cup
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ESPN FC's Euro 2016 awards

Euro 2016
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UEFA Nations League finals: Don't write off England but Portugal are favourites

The last time Portugal hosted a major tournament, a teenage Cristiano Ronaldo ended up in tears after the hosts fell to a shock defeat against Greece in the final of Euro 2004. It has pretty much been an upward curve since then for the Juventus forward in terms of his club career, with Manchester United and then Real Madrid -- with five Champions League winners' medals -- but on the international stage, even Portugal's surprise success at Euro 2016 was tarnished for Ronaldo due to the player being...

Marcus Rashford proves his worth, leading patchy England to win over Swiss

England and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford made it two goals in two consecutive games, providing England's winner against Switzerland.

LEICESTER, England -- Three quick thoughts from England's 1-0 friendly win over Switzerland at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.

1. Rashford shows worth to patchy England

Marcus Rashford went into the international break under a cloud, after being red-carded for rashly lowering his head into Phil Bardsley's face during Manchester United's 2-0 win at Burnley, but he emerges from it as one of the few players to have scored points -- and the only one to have scored any goals -- for England.

The...

World Cup diaries: Faberge Eggs, Kazan Cathedral and noisy Swedes

I'm a late entrant to St Petersburg and, with less than two full days here, a fairly brief guest. They say a year isn't enough to see the Hermitage museum, let alone the rest of this grand city, but what little I have seen on a day of tramping around, prompted this question: How on earth did St Petersburg survive 67 years as Leningrad?

This is no disrespect to Lenin, whose entry into the Finland Station here in April 1917 was the start of the October Revolution that would end 300 years of Tsarist...

Sweden win the Janne Andersson way as unlikely World Cup run continues

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- At one point, you wondered if they were going to leave. For most of the 90 minutes and stoppage time, the main block of canary-yellow-clad Sweden fans had called out the same name, through Emil Forsberg's goal and goalkeeper Robin Olsen's decisive last-ditch save.

And they continued after the final whistle, through the handshakes and the postgame flash interviews and the waves to friends and family. The name continued to ring out even after the players -- perhaps still...

Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka absent in Switzerland's time of need vs. Sweden

Switzerland showed a lot of spirit and quality when coming from behind to draw against Brazil and beat Serbia in the group stage, but none of those qualities were evident as they succumbed 1-0 to an average Sweden side almost without a fight in St. Petersburg.

Positives

Hardly any. None of the Swiss stars, apart from the goalkeeper Yann Sommer, put in a decent performance on the night, and fans will be extremely disappointed as the team missed a golden opportunity to reach the quarterfinals.

Negatives

The...

Sweden show their quiet force with 1-0 win over Switzerland

ST PETERSBURG, Russia -- Three points from Sweden's 1-0 win over Switzerland to reach their first World Cup quarterfinal since 1994:

1. Forsberg fires Sweden into the final eight

You had the sense from the early stages that this game was going to be decided by an incident, whether it be an error, a moment of magic, a refereeing decision or, as it happened, a wildly deflected shot. Switzerland started with a bit more initiative, but Janne Andersson's double yellow wall held.

Ultimately, it...