As the clock winds down on the FIFA Women’s World Cup, we inch ever closer to the final. Just four teams remain in contention for the highest honor in soccer – Spain, Sweden, Australia, and England. Let’s take a look at how each squad secured its place in the Semifinal Round.
Spain Punches Women’s World Cup Semi Ticket With Extra Time Goal
It took 81 minutes for either team to find the back of the net in this one. Finally, Spain broke the stalemate with a penalty Mariona Caldentay. With the lack of goals in the contest, that looked like it would be enough. The Dutch had other plans. Stefanie van der Gragt scored one minute into added time to give her team home.
On to extra time this classic went, but Spain finally took the lead once more with Salma Paralluelo’s sensational strike. The Spanish would hold on to the lead this time ending the Netherlands’ tournament hopes in the quarterfinals. Spain’s semifinal appearance marks their first in team history.
Sweden Takes 2-1 Women’s Wolrd Cup Victory Over Japan
Sweden jumped out to an early lead on the back of Amanda Ilestedt’s goal in the first half. A second goal came courtesy of Filippa Angeldal when the Swedish midfielder put home a penalty in the 51st minute. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Sweden, however.
Japan nearly got their first goal in the 76th minute when the woodwork denied Riko Ueki’s penalty attempt. Japan continued to fight and finally found the net 11 minutes later when Honoka Hayashi scored. Unfortunately for Japan, it was too little too late. Sweden managed to hold off the hard-charging Japanese squad for a 2-1 victory.
Hosts Australia Remain In Contention With Penalty Win Over France
Neither France nor Australia could find a goal in regulation or extra time. The two teams went to penalties hoping to find their way to the Semifinal Round. Ultimately, it was Australia who would advance thanks to Cortnee Vine’s game-winning PK. Next up for the hosts: a meeting with the English.
England Net 2-1 Win Against Colombia
The final quarterfinal matchup pitted England against one of the surprises of the World Cup, Colombia. Colombia struck first, with Leicy Santos scoring near the end of the first half. However, England quickly found an answer by netting a first-half goal of their own courtesy of Lauren Hemp in added time.
It was England who struck first in the second half when Alessia Russo was able to find the back of the net. Colombia never gave up and had a few chances to draw level with the Lionesses but couldn’t capitalize. The English secured a semifinal berth with their 2-1 victory.
The Semifinal Round is set and the four remaining teams will hope to have a chance at bringing their country World Cup glory. Check out the schedule below for the semifinal contests.
Spain vs. Sweden – 3:00 a.m. CT on FOX
Australia vs. England – 5:00 a.m. CT on FOX