Two-time champions Germany suffered a shock Women’s World Cup quarter-final exit as Sweden came from behind to beat them 2-1 in Rennes.
Germany had gone ahead through Lina Magull’s acrobatic finish but Sweden responded when Sofia Jakobsson ran clear on goal and coolly finished.
Stina Blackstenius poked in from close range early in the second half and they managed to hold on to their lead.
This means that the Germans won’t get to defend the gold won in in Rio in 2016. They were the favourites to progress having a stellar record in the tournament.
Germany had not conceded a single goal in this tournament but that changed when former Chelsea forward Jakobsson latched on to a long ball and equalised, before Blackstenius scored from close range after German goalkeeper Almuth Schultz parried Fridolina Rolfo’s header.
“It is a big surprise. Not many people have been talking about this side of the draw because it was all about France, the USA and England. Everyone thought Germany would cruise to the final.” Reported the BBC
This result made Sweden the first team in the tournament to come from behind and progress at the quarter-final stage whereas Germany made it the third time they have been knocked out at the quarter-final stage in eight appearances.
As for The Netherlands, they managed to reach the Women’s World Cup semi-finals for the first time thanks to two second-half headers against Italy in Valenciennes.
Vivianne Miedema, the Netherlands’ all-time top scorer, netted her 61st international goal with a glancing header from Sherida Spitse’s free-kick.
And Stefanie van der Gragt powered home another Spitse free-kick to seal their place in the last four.
The Netherlands are playing at a World Cup finals for only the second time, and went out in the last 16 in 2015.
They were victors at Euro 2017, their home tournament, and they had great support in Valenciennes, which is only a two-hour drive from the Dutch border.
The Netherlands will compete in next year’s Olympics in Tokyo as a result of being one of the final three European teams in the World Cup as Italy’s brave run comes to an end.
Italy were the surprise team of the tournament. This was their first World Cup in 20 years and they topped a group including Australia, Brazil and Jamaica before beating China in the last 16.
The European champions will face Sweden in the semi-final after the Germans suffered a shocking loss to the Swedes.
That fourth quarter-final kicks off at 17:30 BST. The semi-final will be in Lyon on Wednesday.