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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Spain Qualifies For Finals For The First Time After A 2:1 Win Against Sweden

Spain’s through to the Women’s World Cup Finals for the first time.

Match report as Salma Paralluelo’s 81st-minute strike for Spain sparked a dramatic finale; Rebecka Blomqvist equalized for Sweden, but a curling effort from Spain captain Olga Carmona immediately after saw her side to victory; Spain will face Australia or England in Sunday’s final.

A superb strike from Olga Carmona fired Spain into their first Women’s World Cup final with a dramatic 2-1 win against Sweden in Auckland.

For 81 minutes, the game was a largely careful affair, with neither her side giving away many huge chances as a spot in Sunday’s showpiece final lay before them.

But a frantic final 15 minutes was sparked as 19-year-old substitute Salma Paralluelo (81) turned home.

This was matched soon after as another substitute, Rebecka Blomqvist, curled in a fine effort with two minutes remaining to level for Sweden.

But Spain wasted no time in retaking the lead, doing so through captain Carmona.

Having seen a couple of efforts wasted in the first half, she sent a stunning effort past Zecira Musovic from range, ultimately sending the team into their first major tournament final.

It is another heart-breaking near miss for Sweden. They were knocked out in the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup and Euro 2022, as well as finishing as runners-up at the 2020 Olympics.

They will now play in the third-place play-off on Saturday.

Match Day Details.

Spain played the better football in the first half and had the better of the chances. In the 14th minute, Carmona fired just wide from range, having had a dangerous cross cleared just minutes before.

Sweden offered their own reminder soon after, but Johanna Rytting Kaneryd made poor contact with the ball as it drifted wide.

Magda Eriksson needed to be alert just after the half an hour as Alexia Putellas fired in a cross from the right flank.

However, the Bayern Munich defender was there with a glancing header to see the danger away.

But it was Sweden who had the first half’s only shot on target. Rytting Kaneryd found Frida Rolfo at the back post, but her swatted effort was pushed away by Barcelona team-mate Catalina Coll.

The effort was a possible reason for Sweden’s improved second half showing, but chances where still at a premium, with both goalkeepers alert to the danger.

However, Spain should have gone ahead in the 70th minute.

Alba Redondo’s initial effort looked to be going wide, but some brilliant play from Paralluelo saw her not only keep the ball in play, but found a seated Redondo inside the six-yard box.

However, the Levante forward tapped her effort just wide.

But the drama was yet to come as impressive Paralluelo made the breakthrough. Mariona Caldentey’s cross was poorly cleared by Jonna Andersson, finding the Barcelona youngster.

She then made no mistake in slotting home, with a VAR check for offside also passed.

Sweden levelled seven minutes later. Lina Hurtig nodded a cross into Blomqvist’s path, with the forward smashing an effort past Coll.

It looked like extra-time was looming, but there was one last twist in the tale to come.

Spain immediately won a corner after the restart, with Teresa Abelleira’s delivery picking out Carmona at the top of the area.

The Spain captain then lofted a stunning effort past Musovic, who could only tip the strike onto the underside of the crossbar as it fell over the line.

Sweden pressed for another goal as seven minutes of injury time ticked by, but did little to truly worry Coll or Spain, who will now face Australia or England in Sunday’s final in Sydney.

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