HomeLatestSpain, Sweden guide World Cup semifinal spots after tense wins

Spain, Sweden guide World Cup semifinal spots after tense wins

© Provided by Xinhua

A brand new identify will probably be engraved on the trophy after Sweden eradicated the 2011 world champions Japan and arrange a semi-final conflict towards Spain within the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

SYDNEY, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — Spain reached the FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinals for the primary time after edging the Netherlands 2-1 in a thriller on Friday, whereas third-ranked Sweden outlasted former champions Japan with a tense 2-1 win.

Sixth-ranked Spain will subsequent face Sweden in a mouth-watering ultimate 4 conflict on Tuesday in Auckland. Japan’s elimination means a first-time World Cup champion will probably be topped on the match.

Playing of their first quarterfinal, Spain confirmed no indicators of nerves and overcame ninth-ranked Netherlands with teenager Salma Paralluelo scoring an extra-time winner in Wellington.

“It’s a great day for Spanish women’s football,” Spain coach Jorge Vilda mentioned.

“We’ve reached somewhere we’ve never reached before, and done it playing a good game as well, with a team that is convinced that we can go even further.”

“The goal from Salma, it was sheer joy. We had to wait for a few minutes to get the end result of the whistle in the end, and I’m extremely happy.”

In a see-saw of a contest, Paralluelo produced an excellent solo objective within the 111th minute to down the Netherlands and the end result additionally signalled the tip of defender Stefanie van der Gragt’s profession.

The 30-year-old endured an emotionally draining swansong having conceded an 81st minute penalty for a handball with Spain’s Mariona Caldentey breaking the impasse.

But van der Gragt equalized within the dying minutes to power additional time earlier than the Netherlands finally fell quick.

“We had the chance in extra time and we didn’t score, they had one chance and they scored. That’s football,” mentioned van der Gragt, who was a part of Netherlands’ runner-up end in 2019.

“I have to be proud of myself and the team.”

© Provided by Xinhua

In the later recreation, Sweden reached their fifth World Cup semifinal after surviving a late onslaught from 2011 champions Japan in Auckland.

After targets to Amanda Ilestedt and Filippa Angeldal both aspect of the interval, Japan appeared headed for a tame exit they usually could not peg a objective again with Riko Ueki lacking a penalty within the 76th minute.

But Japan’s hopes had been revived when substitute Honoka Hayashi scored from shut vary within the 87th minute.

Japan aggressively pushed for an equalizer, however missed a number of alternatives as a nervous Sweden held on.

Sweden celebrated with gusto, however they had been made to work onerous after having a stranglehold.

Both groups had conceded only one objective from their first 4 video games and a defensive model ensued within the early exchanges.

Sweden drew first blood within the thirty second minute when Ilestedt scored her fourth objective of the match – one behind Japan’s Hinata Miyazawa within the general tally.

Japan lacked efficiency and didn’t have a objective on track within the first-half. They had been in a gap when Angeldahl transformed a penalty within the 51st minute earlier than clawing again into the competition.

But Sweden defied Japan’s ultimate surge to achieve one other semi-final.

The remaining quarterfinals will probably be performed on Saturday when co-host Australia face France in Brisbane, whereas England battle Colombia in Sydney.