Sweden Qualify for Semifinals, After Beating Japan 2-1 in 2023 Women's World Cup

The Swedish national team qualified for the semifinals, after defeating Japan 2-1 in the 2023 Women's World Cup.

Sweden had knocked the US out of the tournament in the last 16 (Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Playing at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, Sweden, who had just toppled defending champions United States in the previous round, played dominantly from the first minute.

Penalty Awarded for Sweden Makes the Score 2-0

Peter Gerhardsson's squad fired 11 shots and 4 on target throughout the first 45 minutes.

Stina Blackstenius had a golden opportunity for Sweden when her shot went wide.

But Swedish center-back Amanda Ilestedt, a surprise contender for the Golden Boot, opened the scoring in the 32nd minute.

With a free kick into the dangerous area, Japanese goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita punched the ball in. The Japanese defender then failed to throw the ball away, which eventually fell to the feet of Ilestedt who easily blasted the ball into the net.

Also, read: Women's World Cup 2023 results: England 0-0 Nigeria (4-2 penalties).

The new Arsenal signing from Paris Saint-Germain now has four goals throughout the tournament, one shy of interim top scorer Hinata Miyazawa.

By halftime, Sweden almost doubled the scoreline. But Kosovare Asllani's volley was blocked by Yamashita.

Five minutes after the break, the referee awarded Sweden a penalty after a handball by Fuka Nagano. Filippa Angeldahl who was the executor successfully broke the goal to make the score 2-0.

The Japanese, who were slowly finding their rhythm, began to aggressively attack. The team nicknamed Nadeshiko was only able to get a shot in the middle of the second half through Aoba Fujino's effort.

A golden opportunity to cut the gap was grabbed by Japan in the 76th minute when the referee pointed to the white spot after a foul in the forbidden box.

Riko Ueki, who came off the bench, then became the executioner, but his shot was only able to rattle the post. While the outside ball also failed to maximize Ueki after his header bounced over the bar.

Nevertheless, Japan still tried hard to catch up and came close to scoring again. Unfortunately, Aoba Fujino's free-kick also hit the goalpost, even the bouncing ball only touched the goal line.

Then in the 87th minute, Honoka Hayashi successfully made the score 2-1. Starting from Swedish defender Magdalena Eriksson who failed to throw the ball away, Hayashi maximized a wild ball in front of the goal.

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