FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Sweden Beats Japan 2-1 to Book a Place in Semis
Sweden put on an outstanding effort to secure a meeting with Spain in the women’s world cup semifinals, shattering Japan’s hopes.After cruising through the group stage and defeating Norway in the round of 16, Japan was considered a title possibility.
Here, they fell behind to a goal from Amanda Ilestedt before Filippa Angeldahl of Manchester City increased Sweden’s lead from the penalty spot.Japan was subsequently given a contentious penalty kick, but Riko Ueki’s attempt in the 76th minute struck the crossbar before Honoka Hayashi of West Ham scored a goal in the 87th.
After Aoba Fujino’s free-kick struck the woodwork, Sweden received a lifeline, but they held on to advance to the semifinals.Ilestedt, a new Arsenal defender, has now scored four goals and is one of the tournament’s top players.
In the 32nd minute, she again took a shot from the edge of the six-yard box after Japan failed to clear.Goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita kept Japan in the game by deflecting a shot from Sweden’s Kosovare Asllani onto the post. Earlier, Stina Blackstenius had wasted a wonderful opportunity while the score was still scoreless.
When Angeldahl extended the lead following a handball by Japanese Liverpool midfielder Fuka Nagano, the video assistant referee (VAR) appeared to have given Japan little chance of a comeback.
In their opening match, Sweden required a last-second goal to upset South Africa, and they trailed the United States 3-2 going into the first round of the knockouts before defeating the four-time world champions.
They have demonstrated a strong desire to advance to back-to-back World Cup semifinals, and they will be confident in their chances when they face Spain at Eden Park on Tuesday.
After defeating the USA, Peter Gerhardsson’s team was riding a wave, and they effectively stopped a Japan team that had been scoring goals just for fun.Japan didn’t really get going until the very end, and even after Hayashi scored, Sweden managed to negotiate the extra 10 minutes.
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