By Lee Jin Lee = Sweden, ranked No. 3 by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with a victory over Japan, ranked No. 11, who missed a penalty kick by Thurro.
Sweden defeated Japan 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Nov. 11 at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Swedes, who advanced through the group with three wins, snapped Japan’s four-game winning streak after beating FIFA’s No. 1-ranked United States on penalties.
With 11 goals conceded in three group games, Japan was the tournament’s most dominant team.
In the round of 16, they raised hopes of winning their first title in 12 years with a 3-1 victory over Norway, only to be stopped by Sweden.
This was Sweden’s second consecutive quarterfinal appearance, following the 2019 World Cup in France. They were stopped by the Netherlands in the final.
Sweden’s next opponent is Spain, who defeated the Netherlands in their previous match. The two teams will kick off at 5 p.m. on Aug. 15 at this stadium.
Japan didn’t have many offensive chances in the first half as Sweden pressed hard.
While they failed to register a single shot on goal, Sweden fired off eight shots while enjoying 54% of the ball possession.
Amanda Ilestedt opened the scoring for Sweden in the 32nd minute on a free kick after a scramble in the box, and Filippa Engeldahl doubled the lead on a penalty kick six minutes into the second half.
The pressure from Sweden’s physical midfield made it difficult for the Japanese midfielders to get the ball forward and blunted Japan’s vaunted counterattacks.
After surrendering the lead, it was especially painful for Japan to see Riko Ueki miss a penalty kick that she had earned in the 31st minute. Ueki’s shot ricocheted off the post and missed a golden opportunity.
Japan didn’t push forward until the final minutes of the match, and even then, Fujino Aoba’s free kick hit the post in the 42nd minute. On the ensuing attack, Hayashi Honoka made up for the hard-fought goal with a right-footed shot.
Revitalized, Japan fought hard in stoppage time, registering two shots on target in the second half, but were unable to put the game out of reach.
With Japan’s elimination, all of the defending champions have packed it in at this World Cup.
43,217 fans were in attendance at Eden Park to see Sweden win.
Earlier in the day, Spain defeated the Netherlands 2-1 in extra time in their first quarterfinal match at Wellington Stadium.
After cruising to a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica in their first game of the tournament, followed by a blowout 5-0 win over Zambia, the Spaniards looked to be on the wrong end of a 0-4 loss in their final Group C match against Japan.
Undaunted, the Spaniards came out firing on all cylinders in their Round of 16 matchup with Switzerland, securing a 5-1 victory.
This is the first time Spain has ever reached the quarterfinals of the tournament, and they’ve come from behind to reach the last four, matching their best ever performance. Spain is 4-1 so far].
Despite dominating possession throughout the match, as evidenced by shots on goal (28 to 10), ball possession (62% to 38%), and other metrics, Spain was unable to break the 0-0 stalemate until the final minute.
However, in the 34th minute of the second half, Spain had a golden opportunity when a handball foul on a defender attempting to clear a cross was ruled out after video assistant referee (VAR) review.
Mariona Caldentei opened the scoring from the resulting penalty kick, but the Netherlands responded in stoppage time when veteran center back Stephanie Vanderhraagt broke into the back of the defense and unleashed a cool right-footed strike.토스카지노
It wasn’t until the sixth minute of the second half of extra time that the two teams were evenly matched, as Salma Parajuelo sprinted from the halfway line to the penalty box, where she beat her defender with a tricky move before slotting home a left-footed finish to seal the victory.
There were 32,021 fans in attendance at Wellington Stadium.