SOCCER

The World Cup Semifinals are Set with Sweden’s Shocking Win Over Germany

Sweden surprisingly defeats Germany at a major tournament for the first time in 11 games.

Photo Courtesy of Reuters

Sweden and Germany playing each other at a major tournament was nothing new. The European foes had faced off many times with Germany winning most of them. The last 11 games at a major tournament between these two had Germany with ten wins and one draw between them.

All Sweden was talking about leading up to the match was how this was finally their time to dethrone the European powerhouse. Germany has two Women’s World Cup Championships while Sweden has none. Germany has three bronze Olympic medals and one gold Olympic medal while Sweden has just one silver Olympic medal. To add to it Germany beat Sweden in 2016 to win the gold medal and they knocked out Sweden in the quarterfinals in 2015.

Sweden was finally ready to come out of Germany’s shadow and prove they can be a top team in Europe.

The game between Germany and Sweden would prove to start quicker than the other quarterfinal game of the day where the first goal was not scored until the 70th minute.

Fans would wait just 16 minutes to see the first goal and honestly a goal could have came sooner from either team. But Germany would score first, something they have done in all of their World Cup games so far.

Germany was on the counter after a turnover by Sweden. Sara Däbritz carried the ball to the top of the box and then chipped the ball to Lina Magull. A poor first touch by Magull was corrected when she half-volleyed the ball into the goal.

Sweden would waste little time to find a goal of their own. This time a German turnover in Sweden’s defensive half led to Linda Sembrant sending a long ball deep over Germany’s defense. Sofia Jakobsson found herself on the other end of the pass and placed a shot right past the German goalkeeper. Sweden’s goal against Germany was the first goal the German’s had conceded in the entire Women’s World Cup so far. Just 22 minutes into the game and it was already 1-1.

The last 23 minutes of the first half would not see any goals and the score would stay 1-1 for the start of the second half. The biggest storyline entering the second half was Germany subbing Dzsenifer Marozsán into the game. Marozsán is the star for Germany but she suffered a broken toe and had not played since the first game of the tournament. Her entrance in the game seemed like it would give Germany the surge to score more goals.

But only three minutes after Marozsán entered the match Sweden proved they were the ones itching for a goal. Sweden was on the attack with Jackobsson dribbling on the wing. She crossed the ball into Fridolina Rolfö who headed the ball into the goal, but Germany’s goalkeeper, Almuth Schult, made a diving save. Her save however would push the ball out to Stina Blackstenius of Sweden who rocketed the ball into the net.

Sweden had now scored two goals against Germany, the first time that has happened to the Germans since April 9th in their game against Japan. The two goals from Sweden also meant the German’s were now losing in a game for the first time all tournament.

At times, Germany looked like they had urgency specifically with the substitutions. All three subs were made by the 70th minute meaning the team could make no more changes for the last 20 minutes of play. Other times Germany looked slow and unrushed to find another goal and at least send the game to extra time.

Germany could find no equalizer and Sweden had avenged their 2015 quarterfinal loss to the Germans. The number two ranked team in the world is now out of the tournament. The victory for Sweden is a surprise to most. However, Sweden’s victory over Germany is their second win over a top five team at the World Cup since Sweden defeated Canada 1-0 in the round of 16.

Three European teams advance to the semifinals with Sweden, England and the Netherlands. It also means they are the top three finishers from Europe and they have qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Since Europe only sends three teams and has no other Olympic qualifying tournament Germany and number four ranked France will not be heading to Tokyo next year.

Sweden was finally able to defeat Germany and at worst will finish fourth at the World Cup. They have plenty to celebrate, but will have to quickly move on and prepare for their next game.

World Cup action will continue with the United States taking on England on July 2nd at 3:00 pm ET on FOX and Sweden playing the Netherlands on July 3rd at 3:00 pm ET on FS1.

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