Then eight became four! This summer’s tournament is reaching its final stages as England, Germany, Sweden and France all advanced from the quarter-finals to reach the semis.
With each game going down to the wire, here’s how the final four made it one step closer to lifting the trophy. ⬇
England v Sweden
The Lionesses continued their excellent campaign with an extra time winner over Spain at the Famer Stadium in Brighton.
Having reached half time with little action at either end, Esther González brought the game to life to put Spain ahead in the 54th minute.
Needing a goal to keep their chances alive, England drew level in the 84th minute through an Ella Toone equaliser.
As the final whistle blew, the Lionesses knew the momentum was with them heading into extra time.
And that’s exactly what happened. Georgia Stanway stunned the Spanish faithful with an unstoppable hit from range to put England ahead and through to the next round.
Facing England are Sweden, as they scraped themselves over the line after a dominant display against Belgium.
With possession even throughout, underdogs Belgium couldn’t put their attack together while the Swedish forwards struggled to finish off slick moves in the final third.
After a goalmouth scramble in the Belgian penalty area, it fell to defender Linda Sembrant to slot home from 4 yards and put the game to bed in injury time.
Germany v France
On the other side of the ties, Germany overcame a valiant Austria side with a 2-0 win at the Brentford Community Stadium.
The Germans outplayed their opponents for most of the match, controlling the possession to create chance after chance.
Despite Austria striking the post early on from a corner, a stray clearance from Manuela Zinsberger led to Lina Magull finding herself unmarked 12 yards out, finishing first time past the out of position goalkeeper.
The second half proved to be more of the same, with Germany looking to bag their second and kill off the game.
It came in the 89th minute when Alexandra Popp put Zinsberger under pressure, only for the ‘keeper’s clearance to rebound off the experienced forward back into her own goal.
In arguably the most competitive tie of the four, France lined up against the Netherlands on Saturday night.
Creating constant opportunities in front of goal, Les Blues spurned simple chances to score; whilst the Dutch also put their bodies on the line to block everything that came their way.
Heading into extra time, France’s patience paid off with Dominique Janssen having been ruled to foul Kadidiatou Diani after a VAR intervention. Ève Périsset then stepped up to score the penalty and break France’s last eight curse that dated back to 2009.
The Fab Four
Can the home crowd get the Lionesses over the line against Sweden, or will the Swedes cause a major upset at Bramall Lane?
And will France live up to their reputation by beating Germany on Wednesday night?
Whoever you’re supporting, make sure you’re reppin’ your nation’s colours with our range of international kits right here.
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JD Football | November 21, 2023