The third and final day of the quarter finals wrapped up with two fiery all-European clashes, as Italy took on European Champions Netherlands, and Germany faced off against Sweden in another classic battle.

 

ITALY V NETHERLANDS

Netherlands have made history, booking a spot in their maiden World Cup semi final after securing a huge 2-0 win against Italy in sweltering hot conditions at the Stade du Hainaut.

Two second half headers, credited to Vivianne Miedema and Stefanie van der Gragt, were enough to separate the sides in Valenciennes. These two goals were also the only ones that Italy have conceded from open play in this tournament.

L’Azzurre had the upper hand in the first half as the momentum started to swing their way. The first Italian shot on goal came from Valentina Bergamaschi 18 minutes in, but unfortunately the winger scuffed it right in front of goal.

Another golden opportunity went begging for the Italians at the 36th minute mark, when Bergamaschi’s defence-splitting pass found Valentina Giacinti on the left. However, her resulting shot was dragged just wide of the Dutch goal.

The Dutch started to turn up the pressure in the second half, marked by Danielle van de Donk’s strike ricocheting off the crossbar.

Netherlands record goalscorer Miedema came through to break the deadlock in the 70th minute. Sherida Spitse’s free kick found the head of the 22-year-old, who made no mistake to put it past the outstretched Laura Giuliani.

Van der Gragt doubled the lead ten minutes later with a powerful header off another Spitse free kick, ending the Italians’ dream run at the World Cup.

With France 2019 being only the Oranje’s second appearance at the World Cup, they will look to prepare for a historic semi final clash against Sweden on Wednesday (local time).

Italy                    0

Netherlands       2 (Vivianne Miedema 70’, Stefanie van der Gragt 80’)

 

GERMANY V SWEDEN

Sweden have pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, coming from behind to send World Cup favourites Germany home after a 2-1 win in Rennes.

German forward Lina Magull found the back of the net first, but goals from Sofia Jakobsson and Stina Blackstenius put Sweden through to the semi finals.

This was Germany’s first major tournament loss to Sweden since the 1995 World Cup, having defeated the Swedes twice in the World Cup and four times in the European Championships since then.

The Germans drew first blood in the 16th minute with a sensational goal from Lina Magull. Sara Däbritz sent a pass through the Swedish defence to find Magull, who turned and volleyed home as she drew goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl off her line.

Sofia Jakobsson scored the equaliser just six minutes later when she broke away from two defenders to run onto a long ball over the top. Her driving shot nutmegged an incoming Almuth Schult on the way to the bottom left corner of the goal.

Sweden took the lead three minutes into the second half after Schult’s clearance of Fridolina Rolfö’s header landed squarely in Stina Blackstenius’s lap. She was afforded plenty of time to control the ball in front of the goal, before poking it into the back of the net.

Germany would rue missed opportunities to take the match into extra time, especially when Marina Hegering’s header flashed just over and wide of the goal deep into injury time.

Sweden will face off against European Champions Netherlands in the second semi final match, which will be held on Wednesday (local time).

Germany             1 (Lina Magull 16’)

Sweden               2 (Sofia Jakobsson 22’, Stina Blackstenius 48’)