Ladies’s World Cup 2023: Sweden favorites for Ladies’s World Cup forward of dealing with shock bundle Spain

Sweden first knocked off the United States after which bounced Japan to snag a spot within the semifinals of the 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 quarterfinal. With Japan out of the lineup, this yr’s World Cup will crown a first-time winner.

The sold-out crowd at Eden Park, the place Sweden will play within the semifinals on Tuesday towards Spain, danced to songs by Swedish rock band Abba because it was performed all through the stadium after the win.

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 semifinals for the fifth time.

Japan had been so prolific with 14 objectives in rolling to a 4-0 event file, however Japan struggled for a lot of the recreation to maintain up with the taller Swedish staff. When Sweden went up 2-0 late within the second, Japan appeared out of the event.

However the Japanese lastly made a late comeback and critically pressured Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic, who’s contemporary off a World Cup-record 11 saves within the win over the US.

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

That was all of the Japanese mustered as Sweden superior to play Spain, which beat the Netherlands 2-1 in further time earlier Friday. Japan had crushed Spain 4-0 in group play.

Japan’s exit means there will likely be a first-time winner at this World Cup. Japan received in 2011, and former winners Germany, Norway and the US have been all eradicated earlier within the event.

Ilestedt broke via 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 assessment.

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

Sweden was driving excessive after eliminating the two-time defending champion People on penalties following a scoreless draw on Sunday. The victory got here by simply millimeters, when goal-line know-how confirmed that Lina Hurtig’s try crossed the road earlier than it might be saved by American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.

Japan, No. 11 within the FIFA rankings, earned a spot within the quarterfinals 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 probabilities.

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 vast.

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 a minimum of twice in every of its earlier video games, however had by no means come again from down two objectives in World Cup play.

On the Tokyo Olympics, Sweden eradicated Japan on dwelling soil within the quarterfinals. 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.