Sweden set up a showdown in the Euro 2022 semifinals with hosts England after edging past Belgium in an unconvincing 1-0 win secured by a dramatic late winner.
Linda Sembrant struck two minutes after injury time at Leigh Sports Village as the tournament’s top-ranked team finally asserted their dominance.
Extra time seemed a certainty after Peter Gerhardsson’s side, ruled out for offside after a first-half goal by Stina Blackstenius after a VAR check, squandered a host of chances. Sweden – Euro champions in 1984 – will next meet Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses on Tuesday night at Bramall Lane in Sheffield for a place in the Wembley final.
A quick Swedish rest needed after a busy evening
Sweden defender Magdalena Eriksson admitted a tense evening against Belgium had been a tough mental challenge and showed she was on the verge of tears after scoring the crucial goal.
The Chelsea player said her side needed a quick physical recovery ahead of the game against England.
“It’s going to be an extremely tough game for us,” the 28-year-old told the BBC. “England have been fantastic in the tournament so far.
“I know all the players they have, they are extremely talented players so we really have to go into that. Now it’s about recovering, getting fresh and then tackling it on Tuesday.”
The Dutch Star Gunner is ready?
In the final quarter-finals of the competition, the Netherlands take on France in Rotherham on Saturday night for the right to meet Germany in the last four.
Prolific Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema missed the reigning champions’ last two group games due to Covid-19 but could be back at the forefront of her attack once training resumes.
Head coach Mark Parsons offered an upbeat update on the Arsenal star on Friday.
“I’m spreading as much positive energy and optimism as I can, but we’ll have to see,” he said. “There’s a chance she’s available because things are going well, but we need to tick those last few boxes.”
“Underdogs” France wants to make history
France have reached the quarterfinals for the fourth time in a row, but they have never advanced.
Les Bleues defeated the Netherlands 3-1 in a friendly in February but head coach Corinne Diacre insists their side are underdogs as they attempt to make a little piece of history.
“The Netherlands are defending champions and if one of us is a favourite, they should be,” she said. “As everyone keeps telling us, we never got past the quarter-finals so we can hardly be favourites.”
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Quarterfinals: France v Netherlands (8pm, New York Stadium, Rotherham)
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/england-sweden-lionesses-sheffield-belgium-b2129533.html Sweden leaves it too late to book Euro 2022 semi-finals with hosts England