Sweden defeats and eliminates Japan with a 2-1 victory

Sweden first knocked off the USA after which bounced Japan to snag a spot within the semi-finals of the FIFA Ladies’s World Cup.

The Swedes, the World Cup runners-up in 2003 and three-time third-place finishers, eradicated beforehand unbeaten Japan 2-1 in Friday’s quarter-final. With Japan out of the line-up, this yr’s World Cup will crown a first-time winner.

Amanda Ilestedt scored a first-half purpose and Filippa Angeldal transformed a second-half penalty to offer Sweden the delicate upset and ship the Swedes to the semi-finals for the fifth time.

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Japan had been so prolific with 14 targets in rolling to a 4-0 file however appeared out of it with Sweden up 2-0 late within the second.

Japan lastly made a late comeback and significantly pressured Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic, who’s recent off a World Cup file 11 saves within the win over the USA.

Riko Ueki’s penalty try for Japan within the 76th minute hit the crossbar and bounced away from the purpose however Musovic was lastly overwhelmed within the 86th minute when substitute Honoka Hayashi reduce Sweden’s result in 2-1.

That was all of the Japanese mustered as Sweden superior to play Spain within the semi-finals on Tuesday at Eden Park in Auckland. Spain beat the Netherlands 2-1 in additional time earlier on Friday. Japan had overwhelmed Spain 4-0 in group play.

Japan received in 2011, and former winners Germany, Norway and the USA have been all eradicated earlier within the match.

Ilestedt broke by means of for Sweden within the thirty second minute off a free kick that ricocheted among the many gamers in entrance of the purpose earlier than touchdown at her ft for the purpose. It was the defender’s fourth of the World Cup.

Angeldal added the penalty kick within the 51st minute after Fuka Nagano’s handball within the field was confirmed by video evaluation.

Japan’s run within the World Cup ended with 14 targets, greater than any staff left within the match. Hinata Miyazawa completed with 5 of these targets to guide the Golden Boot race, matching the staff file set by Homare Sawa in Japan’s 2011 title run.

Sweden was using excessive after eliminating the two-time defending champion Individuals on penalties following a scoreless draw on Sunday. The victory got here by simply millimetres, when goal-line expertise confirmed that Lina Hurtig’s try crossed the road earlier than it could possibly be saved by American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.

Japan, No. 11 within the FIFA rankings, earned a spot within the quarter-finals with a 3-1 victory over Norway.

The sport was a conflict of types from the beginning: third-ranked Sweden was extra bodily whereas Japan was extra technical. Sweden dominated possession for a lot of the match and had the higher possibilities.

Stina Blackstenius beat a defender Saki Kumagai and confronted Japan goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita one-on-one within the twenty fifth minute however her shot went large.

After Ilestedt’s purpose, Kosovare Asllani practically doubled the lead within the forty second minute, however her blast from the highest of the field was pushed away by a diving Yamashita.

Angeldal’s penalty appeared to rattle the Japanese, who struggled towards the taller and extra athletic Swedes. Japan did not get a shot off till the 63rd minute. Japan had scored no less than twice in every of its earlier video games, however had by no means come again from down two targets in World Cup play.

On the Tokyo Olympics, Sweden eradicated Japan on residence soil within the quarter-finals. Sweden superior to the gold-medal recreation however misplaced to Canada.

The Swedes have by no means received a title at both the World Cup or the Olympics.