LYON, France - Sweden may appear to be the USA’s rival of the tournament since the teams have faced off so many times before, but they were humbled by a bitter loss at the end of their group stage.
The Swedes faced off against the Netherlands in their fourth semifinal appearance on Wednesday while the Netherlands made their semifinal debut. Both teams felt the pressure knowing the winner would face the No. 1 ranked and undefeated U.S. team on the field Sunday, July 7.
The first half of the match ended with an uneventful draw with each team ending the first 45 minutes with several decent chances.
With the World Cup final potentially only one goal away, the two teams played the most cautious soccer in the tournament, and the match went into overtime after a scoreless 90 minutes.
Finally, after 99 minutes, Jackie Groenen from the Netherlands broke through the Swedish line to score the first goal of the game in the first period of extra time.
After the goal, Sweden got the message, so they made their final substitutions, bringing out star player Stina Blackstenius as a potential equalizer, but it wasn’t enough to stop the newcomers of the 2019 Women’s World Cup finals.
The Netherlands, playing in their second World Cup ever, beat Sweden 1-0 to advance to the championship.
The defending U.S. champions look to take their fourth title as they face off against the Dutch in their third straight final.