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Sweden and Netherlands book FIFA Women's World Cup semi-final clash

By Opta
Stina Blackstenius scored the decisive goal for Sweden against Germany

Paris, June 30: Netherlands beat Italy 2-1 to qualify for their first Women's World Cup semi-final, where they will face Sweden after their impressive 2-1 win over Germany.

Results | Fixtures

Progress to the competition's last four also means qualification for the Olympic Games for the first time for Netherlands, whose coach Sarina Wiegman has now won more games during her time in charge than any of her predecessors.

It took the Oranje over an hour to break the deadlock amid soaring temperatures in Valenciennes, Arsenal forward Vivianne Miedema timing her run carefully to meet Sherida Spitse's cross and glance a header beyond Laura Giuliani.

Before Italy could mount a response, defender Stefanie van der Gragt rose to meet Spitse's corner with a towering header that flashed by Guiliani and left the Azzurre with no way back.

Germany went into their quarter-final against Sweden in Rennes having scored nine goals and conceded none in their opening four games and they put themselves on course for victory against Peter Gerhardsson's side in the 16th minute.

Sara Daebritz's run split the Swedish midfield and her neat throughball found Lina Magull, who flicked the ball up and wrapped her right foot around it, burying it in the bottom left corner of the net.

But Germany's lead was short-lived as six minutes later they were caught out by Linda Sembrant's long ball over the top and Sofia Jakobsson ran onto it before sliding a cool finish past Almuth Schult to bring Sweden level.

The second half was just three minutes old when Sweden swept forward with a crisp passing move that saw Jakobsson's cross pick out Fridolina Rolfo, whose header was parried by Schult right into the path of Stina Blackstenius.

She took a touch before rifling the ball high into the net from close range to put Sweden into the last four for the first time since 2011.

It was also sweet revenge for Sweden, who lost to Germany in the finals of Euro 2001, the 2003 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

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Story first published: Sunday, June 30, 2019, 1:10 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 30, 2019
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