Objectives from Sofia Jakobsson and Stina Blackstenius gave the Swedes — downed by Germany within the 2016 Olympic ultimate in Rio — victory within the night kickoff after Lina Magull’s sensible opener.
“We checked out Germany and knew there could be a bit more room behind their again line to take advantage of with Blackstenius and Jakobsson,” Sweden boss Peter Gerhardsson was quoted as saying by FIFA. “As we speak it labored effectively, sprinting previous the line of defense. We knew we needed to threaten them behind their again line.”
The Netherlands earlier beat Italy 2-Zero within the afternoon warmth in Valenciennes to achieve a primary ever semifinal on the event.
They, together with GB and Sweden, earned spots at subsequent yr’s Olympics in Tokyo. The highest three European nations on the World Cup locked up berths, with England’s efficiency placing GB by way of.
Germany, in the meantime, missed out.
“I do not even suppose that Sweden performed that effectively immediately,” German captain Alexandra Popp was quoted as saying by FIFA. “We should always have achieved extra. We misplaced balls too simply and have been trying to play the lengthy ball too usually. We lacked that ultimate, killer go in entrance of aim.”
Germany hadn’t even conceded a aim in France previous to Saturday, so when Magull netted within the 16th minute on a scissor-kick volley it felt just like the floodgates would open.
The other occurred, nonetheless.
Sweden on the counter
A single ball excessive frequently unlocked the German protection, with the ever threatening Jakobsson denied by Almuth Schult earlier than the ahead made no mistake within the 22nd minute.
For all of Germany’s possession, ninth-ranked Sweden continued to trigger havoc. Schult needed to push one other shot over the bar and a scramble within the field virtually put Sweden forward.
However Sweden did go forward for good within the 48th minute as Blackstenius, who ended her scoring drought towards Canada within the final 16, scored on a rebound following Schult’s positive save. Germany needed a foul within the buildup however it wasn’t given.
Jakobsson had three extra possibilities however was both stopped by Schult or shot vast.
Sweden finally needed to cling on, with an offside ruling that went to VAR negating a potential penalty when keeper Hedvig Lindahl clattered into Popp. VAR lastly took a backseat within the quarterfinals following taking middle stage within the group stage.
Marina Hegering’s header with Lindahl stranded within the dying minutes flashed vast to the reduction of the underdogs. Lindahl’s struggles got here after saving a penalty towards Canada.
Germany — sure, Germany — was the final group to lose a lead within the quarterfinals, towards the US 20 years in the past. Its shock elimination adopted the lads’s group crashing out within the group stage on the Males’s World Cup final yr in Russia because the defending champion. Powerful occasions.
Retains on scoring
Miedema at 22 has tallied a outstanding 61 targets for the Netherlands, which has rapidly change into one of many world’s strongest groups.
The Netherlands pulled off an upset by successful the European Championships on residence soil two years in the past, beating Sweden within the quarterfinals, and has maintained the momentum in France.
“I am probably not shocked with how far we have come, however I am very pleased with the group,” Dutch supervisor Sarina Wiegman was quoted as saying by FIFA. “I believe we have now superb gamers however issues have modified a lot because the European Championships. We have gained quite a lot of confidence however we additionally wanted to enhance our sport to carry out on the extent that we’re at at this World Cup.”
Although the thermometer did not climb as excessive Saturday in Valenciennes in northern France, it nonetheless rose to the mid-30s Celsius (mid-90s Fahrenheit), in accordance with France Meteo, the nationwide meteorological service. It was barely cooler for the sport in Rennes, although drink breaks in every half have been nonetheless in use.
The Netherlands truly requested world governing physique FIFA for the kickoff time to be modified beforehand. Italy needed a later begin time, too. But it surely did not occur.
Cooling breaks in warmth
Italy has captured the creativeness of its residence public with document viewing figures within the hundreds of thousands of their first World Cup look since 1999.
However Italy paid the worth for not taking two good alternatives within the opening interval.
Winger Valentina Bergamaschi chested down with aplomb within the 18th minute when within the field however shot tamely at keeper Sari van Veenendaal.
Two minutes later, Bergamaschi danced into the field however, in a promising place on the appropriate, scuffed her effort.
The Netherlands was usually in promising positions — notably down the appropriate flank — however did little to check keeper Laura Giulani.
Took over second half
That every one modified within the second half, when the Dutch took over.
Sherida Spitse’s free kick from a central place from simply exterior the field was a transparent warning signal. The Netherlands opened the scoring shortly thereafter.
Miedema cleverly received between Italian defenders and headed into the nook from former world participant of the yr Lieke Martens’ free kick, the primary aim exterior penalties Italy conceded in France.
Off one other set piece, van der Gragt made it 2-Zero, with Giuliani getting a hand to the hassle however unable to maintain it out.
There may need been a frantic end had Daniela Sabatino scored within the 82nd minute, however the substitute was denied by Veenendaal.
Nonetheless it was Italy’s greatest end at a Girls’s World Cup since making the final eight 28 years in the past.
“The way in which they performed and approached matches and their ardour, they’ve proven folks again residence that soccer could be a sport the place you might have enjoyment, serving to each other, unity and all these values,” Italy coach Milena Bertolini stated. “I believe that is why the general public have fallen in love with this group.”