Spain and Sweden reach semi-finals of Women’s World Cup

Barcelona teenager hits late winner for Spain while Sweden reach their fifth semi-final after defeating Japan…

By Izzy Yard

Spain 2-1 Netherlands

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Spain progressed into the semi-finals thanks to an extra-time winner from Barcelona teenager Salma Paralluelo .

There was nothing to separate the two sides in the first half. Spain’s Alba Redondo hit the woodwork twice in the 16th minute, and they managed to hit the back of the net later with a tap-in from Esther Gonzalez but it was ruled offside by VAR.

Spain had a chance early in the second half but Gonzalez’ 20 yard shot skimmed wide of the post.

The Netherlands thought they had won a penalty when Lineth Beerensteyne was pushed over by Irene Paredes, but the decision was overturned by VAR.

Spain then took the lead in the 81st minute through a penalty which Mariona Caldentey converted, but Stefanie van der Gragt equalised from 18 yards to take  the game into extra time.

And in the 111th minute Paralluelo powered a shot off the post and in – a fantastic moment for the 19-year-old who scored her first World Cup goal to send Spain into the semi-finals.

Sweden 2-1 Japan 

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Sweden managed to get past Japan in a dramatic game to send them into the semi-finals against Spain. 

Sweden’s hard work in the first half paid off in the 32nd minute after a free-kick landed for defender Amanda Ilestedt to slam the ball home and give them the lead.

It went from bad to worse for Japan when Sweden were awarded a penalty early in the second half which Fillippa Angeldal clinically converted to make it 2-0.

Japan finally upped their efforts and were awarded a controversial penalty, only for Riko Ueki to hit the woodwork.

They were able to pull one goal back through Honoka Hiyashi in the 87th minute, but it wasn’t enough and meant Sweden go through to their fifth world cup Semi-final. 

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