The semi-final match will be the first time the two countries are meeting in a World Cup competition.
Netherlands will clash with Sweden in the second semi-final game at the ongoing 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup today, July 3, 2019 in Lyon. The encounter promises to be tough as each team will be seeking for a ticket to the final. Sweden having played the final of the Women’s World Cup in 2003 will be fighting to reach the final for the second time. It will be the first time the two countries are meeting at a World Cup competition. They however met in the 2017 European Championship quarterfinals which Netherlands hosted and won 2-0. Netherlands are favourites to reach the Women’s World Cup Final only four years after their debut in the competition.
Sweden have faced more difficult opposition and while they lost 2-0 to reigning champions, the United States, in the roundrobin stage, they caused a big upset when hitting back from a goal down to oust Germany, who had been favourites to reach the final. Sweden, ranked ninth in the world are the lowest- ranked side left in the Women’s World Cup. Sweden will be counting on the talents of top strikers like Stina Blackstenius who scored the team’s equalizer against Germany and the winner in the Round of 16 against Canada. Blackstenius leads the Sweden frontline and can be a real handful for opposing defences. Sweden often looks to play long and Blackstenius’ presence and pace is crucial.
This is only the second time the Netherlands have reached the Women’s World Cup and the first time they have been in a semifinal. The Netherlands need star attackers like Vivianne Miedema and Lieke Martens to be at their best in this tournament if they have to reach the summit. Both players have made immense contributions to the success of the team in the competition. Despite their limited experience of World Cup finals, this is a team that has played and won in big games recently. The quarterfinal win against Italy was the eleventh match in a row Netherlands have won in major tournament soccer. They won the Women’s European Championships on home soil, winning all six matches to be crowned champions of Europe.