Sweden end Japan run to set up World Cup semifinal with Spain

Sweden end japan run to set up world cup semifinal with spain0

Amanda Ilestedt scored her fourth goal of the tournament, and Filippa Angeldal scored from the penalty spot to help Sweden beat Japan 2-1 on Friday. They will now play Spain in the Women’s World Cup semifinals.

Middle back Ilestedt scored just after 30 minutes at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, to give Sweden a well-deserved lead and put Japan behind for the first time at the World Cup.

Angeldal made it 2-0 with a penalty kick seven minutes into the second half. Japan tried to come back, but Riko Ueki missed a penalty kick and Honoka Hayashi got one back with three minutes left in regular time.

Then, despite a late storm, Sweden made it to the World Cup semi-finals for the third time in four tournaments.

After Japan, the United States, Germany, and Norway all left, there are no more past winners left. After the final in Sydney next weekend, a brand new name will be on the trophy.

If Sweden wants to get to the final, which they didn’t do in 2003, they have to beat Spain in a semi-final next Tuesday in Auckland. Spain beat the Netherlands 2-1 earlier Friday in Wellington.

This was supposed to be the ultimate showdown between the smooth and scientific style of Japan and the rough and violent style of Sweden.

The Swedish team led by Peter Gerhardsson took the game to the other team. The other team sat back in a 5-4-1 formation when they didn’t have the ball, but they didn’t have much room to spring forward on the break like they had done so well in previous rounds.

Japan had started to hope for a run like the one that led to their amazing victory in 2011, but they were knocked out by the same team that beat them in the quarter-finals of the Tokyo Olympics two years ago.

The first goal came in the 32nd minute after a set piece. This was exactly the kind of situation where the Japanese were supposed to struggle against their bigger opponents.

The Nadeshiko didn’t clear their lines when a free kick landed in their box, and Ilestedt was able to score after her center-back partner, Magdalena Eriksson, had her shot stopped.

Ilestedt, who just joined Arsenal, had already scored three goals in the group stage. Surprisingly, she is now in the running for the golden boot, since Hinata Miyazawa, who had been the top scorer with five goals, is now out.

Miyazawa didn’t have much of an effect on this game, and Sweden could have scored again before halftime, but captain Kosovare Asllani’s shot hit the post thanks to Ayaka Yamashita’s spread fingers.

The Japan goalie then made a great save two minutes after the restart, pushing a shot by Johanna Kaneryd out for a corner.

Still, the second goal came from that corner. The throw from the right side hit Fuka Nagano in her own box with her hand. The judge reviewed the play and saw that the Liverpool player had done something wrong.

Angeldal, a midfielder for Manchester City, took the penalty kick and made it, which sent Yamashita in the wrong direction.

Japan didn’t give up and got a penalty in the 76th minute when Madelen Janogy touched replacement Ueki just a little bit and he went down.

It was an easy award to win, but Ueki’s kick hit the bottom of the bar and went out.

In the 87th minute, Sweden was saved again by the wall when a free kick by Aoba Fujino hit the bar, bounced off the back of goalie Zecira Musovic, and hit the post.

But seconds later, Japan got one back when Eriksson didn’t deal with Kiko Seike’s cross, and Hayashi scored when he pounced on the loose ball. This set up a crazy finish.

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