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Tue, Jan

Germany suffer shock World Cup quarter-final exit to Sweden

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With their pedigree in the women's game, Martina Voss-Tecklenberg's Germany side were heavy favourites to progress having ...
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Two-time champions Germany suffered a shock Women's World Cup quarter-final exit as Sweden came from behind to beat them 2-1 in Rennes.

Germany had gone ahead through Lina Magull's acrobatic finish but Sweden responded when Sofia Jakobsson ran clear on goal and coolly finished.

Stina Blackstenius poked in from close range early in the second half and they managed to hold on to their lead.

Sweden's semi-final opponents are the Netherlands, who defeated Italy 2-0.

Sweden and the Netherlands join Great Britain - who benefit from England's run to the last four - in qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo as the top three European teams at the World Cup.

Germany will not get the chance to defend the gold medal they won at Rio 2016.

'German ghost' laid to rest

With their pedigree in the women's game, Martina Voss-Tecklenberg's Germany side were heavy favourites to progress having triumphed in the tournament in 2003 and 2007, as well as claiming eight European Championship titles.

Chelsea's Swedish defender Magdalena Eriksson had spoken before the game about being "tired of hearing about this German ghost", having not beaten their opponents in a major tournament since 1995 and losing to them in four major finals, including the 2003 showpiece.

There looked to be more disappointment on the cards for the Swedes as goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl had to keep out Lina Magull's free-kick and Lea Schuller's header early on.

Magull then got on the scoresheet when she controlled and brilliantly converted the opener from Sara Dabritz's pass, but Sweden turned the game around thereafter.

Germany had not conceded a single goal in this tournament but that changed when former Chelsea forward Jakobsson latched on to a long ball and equalised, before Blackstenius scored from close range after German goalkeeper Almuth Schultz parried Fridolina Rolfo's header.

The expected German onslaught failed to materialise and their best chance of taking the game to extra time fell to teenager Lena Oberdorf with two minutes remaining, but she headed wide of an empty net after Lindahl missed the cross.

Analysis - 'A big surprise'

England midfielder Jordan Nobbs on BBC One: "This is the beauty about football, everyone thought Germany had a route to the final but Sweden have got everything right today. They counter-attacked really well, were clinical in front of goal and their defence was one of the best in the tournament so far. Playing against Germany was tough but they showed why they are into the next round.

"It is a big surprise. Not many people have been talking about this side of the draw because it was all about France, the USA and England. Everyone thought Germany would cruise to the final."

Former England defender Claire Rafferty: "I cannot say I am too upset that Germany are going home. Sweden got the tactical gameplan spot on. When Alexandra Popp and Dzsenifer Marozsan went up top for Germany late on, we were expecting balls up front and to play to their strengths.

"Right to the very end, Sweden were causing issues. Sofia Jakobsson was fantastic. Every time she picked the ball up she looked dangerous. Their full-backs stopped Germany's who usually like to get forward."

 

Source: BBC

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