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Brunei
Thursday, August 11, 2022
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Thursday, August 11, 2022
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    Sweden strike late to set up England Euro 2022 semi-final

    AFP – Linda Sembrant’s stoppage time winner broke Belgian hearts as Sweden won 1-0 in Leigh on Friday to set up a Euro 2022 semi-final with hosts England.

    The Olympic silver medallists were strong favourites to progress against a Belgian side playing in their first ever knockout game at a major women’s tournament.

    However, the number two ranked side in the world were frustrated by Belgium goalkeeper Nicky Evrard, poor finishing and a controversial VAR review for 92 minutes until Sembrant made the breakthrough.

    Sweden’s preparations had been hit by a trio of positive coronavirus cases for Jonna Andersson, Hanna Glas and Emma Kullberg.

    But they still dominated from start to finish with 34 attempts to Belgium’s three.

    The fluency of Sweden’s attack disappeared after the break as they struggled to break through the mass ranks of Belgian defence.

    Set-pieces then became the biggest threat from Peter Gerhardsson’s side.

    Blackstenius should have scored when she headed too close to the excellent Evrard.

    The Gent goalkeeper was even equal to Nathalie Bjorn’s effort in the final minute of stoppage time, but the rebound fell kindly for Sembrant to smash the rebound home and spark wild scenes of celebration among the Swedish squad.

    Sweden have not lost in open play since March 2020.

    But they face a huge step up in quality against England in front of a 30,000 capacity crowd in Sheffield on Tuesday.

    Belgium’s goalkeeper Nicky Evrard (R) clears the ball during the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 quarter final match between Sweden and Belgium. PHOTO: AFP
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