Only four teams remain in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: Spain, Sweden, Australia and England. When Japan left the tournament in the quarterfinals it meant that there would be a new champion this year. Each team is only two games away from becoming this year’s winner.
Sweden is ranked third in the world, the highest amongst all teams left in the competition. They will play against Spain on Tuesday at Eden Park National Stadium. The second semifinal will be between Australia and England on August 16th at Sydney Olympic Stadium.
Before the World Cup had even started 15 players declared themselves unavailable for selection to the Spanish national team in September last year. Many believe the cause to be the practices of head coach Jorge Vilda.
Spain was still able to easily beat Costa Rica 3-0 and Zambia 5-0 in their first two games of the group stage. In the last game however Spain lost to Japan 4-0 causing big concerns for the team.
Since then the Spanish team has played well, winning against Switzerland 5-1 in the Round of 16 and then defeating Netherlands 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
This will be Sweden’s second World Cup semifinal in a row and their fifth in total. The team has not yet lost a game at this year’s tournament and have only conceded two goals in total.
Sweden first played South Africa in their opening match of the tournament where they won 2-1. The win wasn’t very convincing and took a last minute goal from defender Amanda Ilestedt in the 90th minute. In their last two matches in the group phase Sweden played much better, beating Italy 5-0 and Argentina 2-0 to top Group G.
The knockout stage started off with a win from tournament favorites USA in a dramatic shootout. Although they were outplayed by the USA, the team was able to come together and pull off the victory when it counted.
The quarterfinals saw Sweden take on Japan who had looked very strong throughout the tournament. Sweden took an early lead and then added another goal early in the second half to take a 2-0 lead. Despite a last minute goal by Japan, the team held on to qualify for the semis.
Australia are co-hosts of the tournament and will have home team advantage heading into the semifinals. The Australians won 2 games in the group stage against Ireland and Canada but lost a close match to Nigeria 3-2.
Australia went on to play Denmark in the Round of 16, beating them 2-0 in a one-sided match. The quarter finals against France was much closer and the match ended in a tie 0-0 in regulation and overtime. Australia pulled through in a thrilling penalty shootout 7-6 to advance to the semifinals.
The English team entered the tournament as one of the favorites so their run to the semis isn’t very surprising. The Euro Champions are filled with talent and have not lost a match yet at this year’s World Cup.
They started off by beating both Haiti and Denmark 1-0 in the group stage. They then won against China 6-1 to come first in Group D.
The Round of 16 was the biggest test for England for far after a red card had the team a player down. England was still able to beat Nigeria 4-2 in a penalty shootout to advance. The English team then went on to win a close game against Columbia in the quarterfinals by the score of 2-1.
2023 Women’s World Cup Semi Finals Schedule
Semi Final #1- Sweden Vs Spain
Date and Time: August 15th, 8 am GMT
Venue: Eden Park New Zealand
Semi Final #2- Australia Vs England
Date and Time: August 15th, 10 am GMT
Venue: Sydney Olympic Stadium