England come from behind to knock out Colombia, Sweden survive late scare to beat Japan: FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarter-Final Roundup

England women’s football team players celebrate after beating Colombia

England qualified for the semi-final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the third consecutive time as they defeated Colombia 2-1 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney courtesy of goals from Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo. They will be squaring off against Australia, who defeated France in a penalty shoot-out after the game ended 0-0 at the end of regulation time. 

Earlier in the week, Sweden beat Japan 2-1 at Eden Park. Amanda Ilestedt and Filippa Angeldal found the back of the net for the European nation while Honoka Hayashi scored a late goal for Japan but it was not enough. 

In the first quarterfinal of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Spain beat the Netherlands 2-1 in extra time. Mariona Caldentey put Spain ahead in the 81st minute before Stefanie van der Gragt equalized for the Dutch just before the end of regulation time. The joy was short-lived as Salma Ceste Paralluelo Ayingono scored the winning goal. 

Here is a detailed roundup of each quarter-final match in the FIFA Women’s World Cup courtesy of Parimatch News

Spain 2-1 Netherlands 

Spain could have taken the lead as early as the 5th minute when Esther Gonalez Rodriguez played a one-two pass with Jennifer Hermoso inside the box. However, the former’s chip shot went wide of the target. 

Spain hit the woodwork not once but twice in the 16th minute. Alba Redondo’s header was tipped towards the bar by the Dutch goalkeeper but the rebound fell kindly towards the striker. However, with an empty goal gaping at her, she could only hit the sidebar. 

Esther Gonzalez did find the net in the 38th minute, however, it was correctly adjudged offside. Spain was awarded a penalty in the 80th minute after Stefanie van der Gragt handled the ball inside the box and Caldentey stood up. The keeper dived the wrong way while her shot ricocheted off the crossbar and past the goal line. 

With the match going into stoppage time, all hopes were over for the Netherlands before van der Gragt made amends for her earlier mistake. Latching on to a pass at the edge of the 18-yard box, the striker curled her shot wonderfully past the diving goalkeeper to level the proceedings. 

The Netherlands started brightly in the extra time as Lineth Beerensteyn hit the crossbar. However, Spain turned the table when substitute Paralluelo dribbled past two defenders and fired the ball past the goal line. The match ended 2-1 in favor of Spain as they reached the semi-final stages of the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time in history. 

Japan 1-2 Sweden 

Sweden players console Japan as they knock them out

Sweden took the lead in the 32nd minute when Amanda Ilestedt found herself at the end of a rebound. The Japanese defenders managed to thrice block the shots from a free-kick but were helpless when Ilestedt slammed the ball home. 

Sweden’s Kosovare Asllani aimed for the bottom corner at the dying embers of the first half but Japan’s goalkeeper Yamashita dived just in time to prevent the goal from crossing the line. 

Yamashita continued her heroics in the second half but was helpless when Filippa Angeldal stepped up for a penalty in the 51st minute. Filippa’s shot was too powerful for Yamashita to save as Sweden found themselves 2-0 up. 

Japan got a golden chance to pull one goal back in the 75th minute when Riko Ueki stepped up to take a penalty. However, Sweden’s goalkeeper guessed it correctly and kept her side’s two-goal lead intact. 

With three minutes remaining on the clock, Japan scored a goal when Sweden failed to clear a free-kick. Honoka Hayashi thumped the ball into the net ten yards away from the goal. However, it was not enough as the referee blew her full-time whistle and Sweden won 2-1. 

Australia 0 (7) – France 0 (6) 

Australian women’s football team celebrate after beating France on penalties

Australia had a glorious chance to take the lead in the 41st minute of the game but France replied with a goal-line clearance. Mary Fowler had an empty goal gaping at her but she didn’t put enough power on her shot. France’s Elisa de Almeida came just in time to block the ball with her head. 

Hayley Raso was in the thick of things in the 56th minute when the right winger drifted in and curled her shot towards the goal. However, France’s goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin tipped it over the crossbar. 

With the game ending 0-0 at regulation time, it progressed to extra time. In the 100th minute, Wendie Renard found the back of the net through her header off a corner kick. However, the goal was disallowed as replays showed that she brought down an Australian defender in the process. 

With 120 minutes unable to separate the two sides, the match went to penalties. France’s Selma Bacha missed the first kick while her counterpart sealed it for Australia. Stephanie Catley failed to find the net for Australia as France equalized to 1-1. Both Eve Perisset and Mackenzie Arnold squandered their chances as the shootout went to sudden death. 

While Vicki Bencho was unable to find the net, Australia’s Cortnee Vine slotted the ball home to send Australia to the semi-final on the back of the vociferous home support. 

England 2-1 Colombia 

England made their intentions clear in the sixth minute when Hemp and Russo’s shots were saved by the Colombian defenders at the nick of time. However, it was Colombia who went one goal up in the 41st minute. Leicy Santos’ out-swinging cross from the edge of the box evaded everyone and curled into the back post. 

Colombia’s goalkeeper made a blunder as she allowed the ball to roll between her legs and Lauren Hemp made no mistake in poking it home in the dying embers of the first half. With the scoreline reading 1-1, the two teams entered the tunnel. 

Alessia Russo made it 2-1 for England in the 63rd minute when she slotted the ball into the bottom corner. Colombia failed to complete their comeback in time as they were sent home packing.