Linda Sembrant’s dramatic added-time winner gave Sweden a 1-0 win over Belgium and a chance to take on England in the Euro 2022 semi-finals.
Stina Blackstenius was denied a goal by VAR midway through the first half and Sweden had to wait until the final seconds to win a brave Belgian shot at Leigh Sports Village.
Wave after wave of Swedes’ attacks in the second half had been disappointing up to this point, with goalkeeper Nicky Evrard proving to be their nemesis.
But heartbreak for the Red Flames came in the second minute of added time when Sembrant struck home to send Sweden into their ninth Euro semi-final.
Sweden were the first team to make their mark in the quarter-finals and almost went wide when Evrard missed a Filippa Angeldal shot from distance in the sixth minute.
Sweden’s high pressing began to cause problems for the Belgian defense and poor play from outside the box gave Angeldal another chance before their first try sailed over the bar.
Belgium have waited for Evrard on several occasions during this tournament and she was again on hand to maintain the score as she saved Kosovare Asllani’s header to deny what appeared to be a surefire goal in the 14th minute.
Blackstenius thought she had scored her second goal of the tournament when she caught a through ball from Asllani before scoring, but VAR intervention ruled her offside much to the relief of Belgium fans.
The Red Flames failed to somehow penetrate the Swedish defense but their first real sniffle came after half an hour when Justine Vanhaevermaet missed their shot harmlessly.
A corner late in the first half caused a tussle in the goal area and Evrard did well to parry a combination of efforts from Blackstenius and Amanda Ilestedt, but the Women in Yellow had nothing to show in their 45 minutes of dominance.
The second half developed similarly to the first as Sweden tried to break the deadlock with early efforts from Fridolina Rolfo and Angeldal.
Belgium had never reached a knockout round in a major tournament before and their stubborn defense began to frustrate their opponents when Evrard was there again to stop a Blackstenius header from close range to bulge the net.
Belgium’s resistance was finally broken in the closing moments when, after a period of flipping in the box, Sembrant fired a close-range shot from a corner that caused chaos.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/euro-2022-sweden-belgium-women-england-semi-final-b2129529.html Sweden vs Belgium final standings, score and report as Linda Sembrant winner takes on Lionesses in semifinals