Only four teams remain from the 32 that entered the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
On Aug. 20, a new name will be crowned champions of the world. But before that, the final four will battle for a coveted place in the final.
The first semifinal between Spain and Sweden will kick off at 4:00 a.m. ET in Auckland on Tuesday. It’s tapped to be a fiery match between two passionate, technical and resilient teams.
Here’s everything you need to know about tomorrow’s must-win clash.
Last time out
La Roja were first to advance to the semis after beating the Netherlands 2-1 in extra time. Jorge Vilda’s squad seemed to have put off-field issues aside to reach the final four for the first time in their history.
On the other hand, Sweden pulled off an impressive 2-1 win over tournament favourites Japan to book their spot in Tuesday’s game. After knocking off Japan – and the reigning champions USA in the round of 16 – Sweden will be carrying momentum.
Spain began their tournament with lightning speed, winning 3-0 over Costa Rica and 5-0 over Zambia. They were on their way to topping Group C until being dismantled 4-0 by Japan.
However, the blip was short-lived as the Spainards made light work of Switzerland in the round of 16. In the emphatic 5-1 win, Aitana Bonmati scored a brace.
Their quarterfinal fixture against the Netherlands was dramatic to say the least. Although Spain seemed the dominant team for much of the game, the scoreline remained even and the match went to extra time.
In the end, Salma Paralluelo scored the winner in the 111th minute, which hit the post and ricocheted into the netting. The 18-year-old came off the bench and became Spain’s hero. It’s possible Paralluelo’s performance could help her break tomorrow’s starting XI.