Today at the World Cup: Sweden knock out Japan to set up Spain semi-final clash

England will hope to make reach the semi-finals against Colombia on Saturday

Sports Staff
Friday 11 August 2023 17:43 BST
(Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Spain and Sweden became the first sides to reach the Women’s World Cup semi-finals on Friday.

The two sides will meet in the last four after Spain beat the Netherlands 2-1 and Sweden overcame Japan by the same margin.

Here is a look at a tense day of action and what is in store in the remaining two semi-finals.

Spanish history

A controversial game in Wellington saw Spain reach the last four for the first time.

VAR was a main talking point with Esther Gonzalez’s effort for Spain disallowed for offside on review.

Referee Stephanie Frappart then overturned her decision to give Netherlands a penalty before VAR intervened again to give Spain a spot-kick for Stefanie van der Gragt’s handball.

After all the controversy, teenage winger Salma Paralluelo came off the bench to score Spain’s 111th-minute winner.

(Getty Images)

Super Sweden

Sweden outplayed Japan to reach the World Cup semi-finals for the fifth time.

Amanda Ilestedt’s close-range finish and Filippa Angeldahl’s penalty put them in full control six minutes into the second half.

Japan did mount a late revival with Riko Ueki sending a penalty against the crossbar and fellow substitute Honoka Hayashi firing home three minutes from time.

But a Japan equaliser would have been an injustice and Sweden rightfully took their place in the last four once again.


First-time winners guaranteed

The exit of 2011 World Cup winners Japan means a new name will be carved on the trophy.

Four-time winners the United States were also beaten by Sweden in the previous round, while two-time champions Germany failed to make it out of the group stage.

Norway, the only other country to win the Women’s World Cup back in 1995, were beaten in the last 16.

As well as Spain and Sweden, Australia, France, England and Colombia are still in the hunt for a first World Cup triumph.

Post of the day

Quote of the day

It was a pinch-me moment in terms of what women’s sport nowadays has done

England's Alessia Russo on meeting David Beckham

What next?

Quarter-final: Australia v France (0800)Quarter-final: England v Colombia (1130)

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