FIFA Women’s World Cup: Spain and Sweden into semi-finals

Spain v Netherlands Wellington, New Zealand,
Salma Paralluelo (Spain) celebrates the winning goal. (Richard Callis / SPP)

Spain and Sweden were the first two teams to win through to the FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-finals, as Netherlands and Japan bowed out.

Spain knocked out the Netherlands 2-1 after extra-time in front of over 32,000 in Wellington, Nez Zealand.

Alba Redondo saw her shot turned onto the post by Daphne van Domselaar and could only hit the rebound against the same upright.

Esther Gonzalez had the ball in the net before the break but a VAR check deemed her to have been in an offside position, then a penalty decision in favour of the Dutch just after the hour mark was reversed on review by the referee.

Another spot-kick came with ten minutes to go following a VAR check for handball by Stephanie van de Gragt, Mariona Caldentey’s effort from 12 yards going in off the post.

Teresa Abelleira’s strike from the centre circle had to be tipped over the bar by Van Domselaar, and in the first minute of stoppage-time Van der Gragt was played in to fire home across the keeper.

Lineth Beerensteyn had two chances to win it for the Dutch in the extra half-hour but Salma Paralluelo netted for Spain via the far post.

FIFA Womens World Cup 2023 - Japan v Sweden
Amanda Ilestedt (13 Sweden) celebrates after scoring. (Ane Frosaker / SPP)

Sweden will face Spain on 15 August for a final berth, after a 2-1 victory over Japan.

Amanda Ilestedt fired Sweden in front from close range, after Japanese defenders and blocked three efforts on goal in quick succession.

Ayaka Yamashita turned Kosovare Asllani’s shot onto the post to keep the deficit down to one approaching half-time.

Sweden doubled their advantage from the spot early in the second half, Filippa Angeldahl converting following a handball decision after a VAR review.

There was also a penalty awarded for Japan but Riko Ueki’s strike hit the bar and another VAR check deemed the ball did not cross the line.

Straight after Japan hit the woodwork twice with an Aoba Fujino free-kick, Honoka Hayashi buried a loose ball to give her side late hope.

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