On the 11th, at the Eden Park Stadium in Auckland, the Swedish team demonstrated their physical advantages and team defense to the fullest, and defeated the Japanese team 2:1 in the quarter-finals of the 2023 Women’s World Cup to enter the semi-finals. This also means that this Women’s World Cup will produce a new champion team.
The Japanese team is the second world champion team eliminated by the Swedish team this time, after the Swedish team eliminated the world football hegemony US team through a penalty shootout. With the elimination of Japan, Germany, the United States, and Norway, the champions of the previous eight Women’s World Cups are all out.
The Swedish team in the first half made people shine. Facing the Japanese team, which is good at technology, they were not conservative and launched attacks from both wings many times. It was difficult for the Japanese team to penetrate into the opponent’s penalty area. In the first half, the Japanese team did not have a single shot, while the opponent had 8 shots; the Japanese team was not even as good as their opponents in possession.
Sweden’s “shooter” and central defender Illestad once again showed her strength. In the 32nd minute, the Swedish team took a free kick, causing chaos in the penalty area of the Japanese team. After hitting the goal with 5 kicks, Illestad made a smart pick and broke the deadlock for the Swedish team, 1:0. This is also the fourth goal scored by a Swedish central defender in this tournament. She is not only the player with the most goals in the team but also second only to the Japanese striker Miyazawa Hinata with 5 goals on the scorer list.
Since then, the Swedish team’s offensive has been wave after wave. After Aslani hit a goalpost in the 42nd minute, they still attacked at the beginning of the second half. In the 47th minute, in the corner kick attack, Japan’s midfielder Fuka Nagano made a handball foul. After the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) ruled, the Swedish team won a penalty. Angerdahl made it overnight, 2:0.
Incredibly, the Japanese team, which scored 14 goals in the first four games, did not have their first shot until the 63rd minute. During most of the game, the Japanese team also showed their skills. They can often break through a Swedish player, but the Swedish team’s tight overall defense prevented the Japanese team from finding a chance to kick.
In the last 30 minutes or so, the Japanese team began to attack the opponent’s defense crazily. During this period, they shot 10 times! But luck was not on their side, Ueki broke through and won a penalty, but her own penalty hit the crossbar.
In the 87th minute, the direct free kick of the Japanese team hit the goal frame twice, and then the Japanese team continued to attack, and finally, Honoka Hayashi scored a goal. The score became 1:2.
The final stoppage time lasted 10 minutes, but the Japanese team still could not pry open the Swedish team’s defense, and the 2011 World Cup champion was finally eliminated.
Sweden will face Spain in the semifinals. (Shuwen Xiao Shiyao)