Spain and Sweden have secured their spots in the World Cup semi-finals. Spain defeated the Netherlands 2-1, while Sweden overcame Japan by the same scoreline. The two teams will now face each other in the last four.
Spain’s victory came in a controversial match. Esther Gonzalez’s goal for Spain was disallowed for offside after a VAR review. Referee Stephanie Frappart then awarded a penalty to the Netherlands, only to overturn her decision after another VAR intervention. Ultimately, Spain emerged as the winners with a late goal in the 111th minute from Salma Paralluelo.
In the other quarter-final, Sweden outplayed Japan to secure their fifth World Cup semi-final appearance. Sweden took control of the match with goals from Amanda Ilestedt and Filippa Angeldahl early in the second half. Japan mounted a late comeback, but Sweden held on to their lead and secured their place in the last four.
The elimination of Japan means that there will be a new winner of the Women’s World Cup this year. Previous winners, such as the United States and Germany, have already been knocked out of the competition. Norway, the only other country to have won the tournament, was also eliminated in the previous round. Alongside Spain and Sweden, teams like Australia, France, England, and Colombia are still in pursuit of their first World Cup triumph.
England, who is among the remaining teams, received some pre-tournament motivation from former captain David Beckham. Alessia Russo, a forward for the team, revealed that Beckham’s words had a significant impact on the squad. Russo described meeting Beckham as a “pinch-me moment” and expressed her admiration for him since her childhood.
Meanwhile, the upcoming quarter-finals will feature matches between Australia and France, as well as England and Colombia. These matches will determine the final two teams to advance to the semi-finals.
Overall, the World Cup quarter-finals have been filled with intense matches and unexpected outcomes. With each passing round, the competition continues to build excitement as teams battle for their chance at World Cup glory.