Sweden Women 1-0 Belgium Women: Sweden set up the semi-final for England after Linda Sembrant’s late goal | football news

Sweden set up a Euro 2022 semi-final showdown with England after Linda Sembrant’s last-minute goal saw them beat Belgium 1-0 in a tight quarter-final clash.

Although Sweden headed into the game as heavy favourites, it turned out to be a much closer game than many might have predicted, becoming a battle of wills as it went on.

Sweden thought they had taken the lead in the first half when Stina Blackstenius fired past goalkeeper Nicky Evrard. She picked up a beautiful forward pass from Kosovare Asllani before keeping her cool to beat the Belgian goalkeeper, but after a VAR review she was deemed offside.

The Swedes registered 33 shots at the Leigh Sports Village, although most of them came from distance as they struggled to bring down a well-coached Belgium. However, it was a dramatic end as Sembrant returned home with extra time looming.

Evrard had made some superb saves throughout and came close to holding off Sweden again, punching away Asllani’s corner kick and blocking Natalie Bjorn’s follow-up. But he was powerless to stop Sembrant from coming home from close range with the rebound as Belgium were beaten in their first knockout match in a major international tournament.

Sweden have now staged an almighty semi-final meeting with tournament hosts England on Tuesday night for a place in the Euro 2022 final at Wembley on July 31.

How Sweden finally broke through Belgium’s defenses

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Sweden scored in the 92nd minute to beat Belgium

Sweden had the best of the early opportunities. Filippa Angeldahl forced a superb save from Evrard after six minutes, before also firing wide from the resulting corner. Evrard was back in great form soon after, stopping Amanda Ilestedt’s corner kick at the near post before stopping Blackstenius from scoring the rebound.

After the Arsenal midfielder’s goal was disallowed, Belgium saw their best chances of the half. Tessa Wullaert’s dismissal of Julie Biesmans saw the latter skim the post. The Belgium captain returned to provider shortly after, but her cross was well deflected by Hedvig Lindahl.

The second half was hardly a classic at all, although it was an exciting start when Illestedt sent a cross into the corner of the post, but the offside flag was up.

Sweden Belgium Euro 2022
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Sweden will face England in the semi-final of Euro 2022

Belgium continued to manage their opponents well, but needed another world-class save from Evrard to keep them in the game in the 73rd minute. Asllani’s free-kick was returned by Linda Sembrant. He landed for Blackstenius, but Evrard parried him from inside the six-yard box.

The Red Flames introduced Elena Dhont in the second half and she proved to be a lively attacking outlet as Belgium looked for a shock victory. In the final 10 minutes, Dhont moved down the right and tried to catch Lindahl off her line, but her shot crashed into the side of the net.

Minutes later, she passed the ball to Wullaert on the right before racing into the box, but Amanda Nilden was there to take the ball from Dhont.

But for all their good work, Belgium’s defenses eventually forced their way with just seconds to go to the extra 30 minutes, sending Sweden into the final four.

Stina Blackstenius had a goal disallowed for offside in the first half
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Stina Blackstenius had a goal disallowed for offside in the first half

Analysis: What can England expect?

Sky Sports’ Charlotte Marsh:

“Any England fan watching Sweden’s quarter-final would be forgiven for thinking Tuesday’s semi-final will be an easy ride. Sweden looked heavy, struggled to break through Belgium’s defense and were nowhere near their best.

“But it hasn’t been the easiest of preparations. They’ve been affected by a wave of Covid absences, including key players like Hannah Glas and Jonna Andersson, who will surely start on Tuesday if they’re fit enough.”

“There was no overlapping of the full-backs against Belgium, which stifled Sweden’s creativity. Glas and Andersson, who play more as full-backs, provide this outlet and will provide England’s own full-backs with a severe test.”

“But Sweden must be quicker in their game. England are full of pace in transition, getting the ball out to their wingers in ultra-fast time. They will punish the Swedes again and again if given this chance.”

“They will probably let England have the best possession and chances, especially if they don’t have their key players in top form. Despite having over 30 chances on Friday, Sweden’s efforts were largely limited to long range.

“But one area where Sweden looked incredibly strong against Belgium is set-pieces. They scored their goal from a corner and those were the moments when the Red Flames looked most vulnerable.”

The last time England and Sweden met was in the play-off for third place at the 2019 World Cup in Russia.
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The last time England and Sweden met was in the play-off for third place at the 2019 World Cup in Russia.

“Sweden are a great team in terms of height and England can match this, but they need to keep their focus. On the other hand, the Lionesses are also dangerous from set pieces.

“Sarina Wiegman’s team must also make the most of their two extra days and extra players, right now, in training. While Sweden avoided an extra 30 energy-sapping minutes, the extra rest could prove vital.

“But England were not at their best against Spain either and both teams need to improve before the semi-final. All eyes will be on Bramall Lane and the occasion deserves an entertaining show.”

Eriksson: We’ll be fresh for Tuesday

Magdalena Eriksson (far left) says that Sweden will be ready for their semi-final against England
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Magdalena Eriksson (far left) says that Sweden will be ready for their semi-final against England

Swedish defender Magdalena Eriksson told BBC Sport:

“It feels amazing. That was our goal for the day. It wasn’t easy and Belgium made it really difficult. I’m really happy that we got the win. I’m really happy for Linda and that we finally got the goal.”

“It was really difficult. We had to stay very strong mentally. We had to stay positive. We did it. We were going to go until the 94th minute and keep pressing.”

“There are so many emotions. I felt the tears coming because I was so happy. It was a frustrating night, but to finally get that relief, I’m so proud of all the girls for how hard we fought.”

On the semi-final with England: “It’s going to be an extremely difficult game. England have been unbelievable in the tournament so far. I know all the players, extremely talented players. We have to really be into it. It’s about getting back on our feet and getting fresh again.”

On whether two days less preparation gives England an advantage: “No. We’re in the flow of games. It’s about what we do. I’m sure we’ll be 100 percent fresh on Tuesday.”

Whats Next?

Sweden will now face England in the semi-finals on Tuesday at Bramall Lane with kick-off at 8pm. The Euro 2022 final takes place at Wembley on July 31; start 5pm.

The knockout stage…

Quarter finals

Wednesday July 20

Quarter-final 1: England 2-1 Spain (AET)

Thursday July 21

Quarterfinals 2: Germany 2-0 Austria

friday july 22

Quarterfinals 3: Sweden 1-0 Belgium

saturday july 23

Quarterfinals 4: France vs Netherlands – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium

semifinals

tuesday july 26

Semifinal 1: England vs Sweden – kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane

Wednesday July 27

Semifinal 2: Germany vs France or Holland – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK

Final

sunday july 31

Semi-final Winners 1 v Semi-final Winners 2 – kick-off 5pm, Wembley

Follow Euro 2022 through Sky Sports

Sky sports news Y sky sports Digital platforms will follow every step of England’s journey to Euro 2022 ahead of Tuesday’s semi-final.

Along the way, the Sky Sports News mobile presentation bus will continue to bring you the best guests and analysis from the likes of Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett offering their expert insight. The bus will be based in the heart of Sheffield ahead of England’s last four games, before heading to Wembley for the final.

On SkySports.com, the Sky Sports app and on social media, we’ll cover all the big moments with our previews, features, reports, analysis, plus the Sky Sports Women’s Euros podcast with Sky Sports Senior Football Writer Charlotte Marsh . and Sky Sports News reporter Anton Toloui.

And if you’re new to the England team, don’t worry: here’s our guide to meeting the Lionesses.

As well as England, Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Digital will also cover all of the knockout matches as we draw closer to the grand final on 31 July.

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