彩神8ios官方Comment: No room for egos as Southgate's 'Band of Brothers' marches on

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by Paul Giblin

SAMARA, July 7 (Xinhua) -- England captain Harry Kane spoke of a "band of brothers" when he addressed the press on the eve of England's 2-0 win over Sweden in the Samara Arena on Saturday afternoon. He spoke of a squad of players who will do anything for each other and who want to work and to learn.

With six goals so far in the World Cup, Kane is the leader of the England side on and off the pitch, but on Saturday, although he worked hard and led the attack intelligently, he wasn't the hero; England had plenty of heroes.

One of the achievements of coach Gareth Southgate is to take a young side and to give belief in a set of players, some of whom play for the biggest clubs in the Premier League and others at smaller outfits.

Two years ago central defender Harry Maguire was celebrating helping Hull City to the Premier League by following England in the 2016 European Championships, now at Leicester City after suffering relegation with Hull a year ago, he is on the way to being one of the players of the tournament.

Goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, whose save in the penalty shootout against Colombia changed the fortunes of a generation of England sides, made three more outstanding saves to keep Sweden at bay in Samara.

A season ago he was part of a Sunderland side which suffered the heartbreak of relegation, while his start to this season at Everton was far from easy as his new club struggled for form.

Meanwhile right back Kieran Trippier, who came to Russia with barely a handful of caps, has established himself as a key player in the team: not just for his pace in defense, but for his countless forward runs and his crossing.

It was Trippier's 50th minute header that Maguire thundered into the net, rising like a Soyuz rocket to give Robin Olsen no chance and England a vital opening goal against a side that was giving little away.

Just before the hour Trippier was again the provider with the cross that saw Dele Ali double England's lead.

Others are finding maturity under Southgate; John Stones hardly put a foot wrong in central defense where Kyle Walker showed pace and awareness in a role he doesn't usually play and Jordan Henderson is mature an hard working in midfield, providing a perfect foil as Jesse Lingard flits and probes for openings.

"We are one of the youngest teams here, but we are an improving side and want to make history. We are an emerging side, an evolving side: a long way from perfect," said England coach Gareth Southgate.

They are also a side that shows unity, both with each other and also with the fans, maybe because that unity they show among themselves touches a chord that recent England sides, aloof and distant and ultimately underachieving failed to touch.

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