Ilestedt scores to send Sweden to the semi-finals

Amanda Ilestedt and Stina Blackstenius high-five after Sweden score

New centre-back Amanda Ilestedt scored her fourth goal of the tournament as our Swedish trio progressed to the World Cup semi-finals.

Sweden's 2-1 win over Japan means that there will be a new name on this year's trophy as all of the previous winners (the United States, Germany, Japan and Norway) faced early exits. 

Japan entered the quarter-finals in sublime form, winning all three matches in the group stage and dismissing Norway in the round of 16.

However, Peter Gerhardsson's Swedish side rose to the occasion. Stina Blackstenius' pressing looked dangerous from the outset and our striker came tantalisingly close to opening the scoring but was forced wide.

Sweden got a well-deserved lead late in the first half as Kosovare Asllani sent a deep free-kick into the area and Japan were unable to clear the danger. Ilestedt was in the six-yard box, ready to pounce, and she rifled home for her fourth goal of the tournament. 

With the Swedes in cruise control, a penalty from Man City's Filippa Angeldal made it 2-0 in the second half. But there would be late drama as Japan were controversially awarded a penalty that Riko Ueki then failed to convert.

Japan remained intent on a comeback and Aoba Fujino's free-kick hit the crossbar and nearly crossed the line through a deflection from Zecira Musovic, yet somehow it remained 2-0. 

Futoshi Ikeda's side did manage to pull a goal back through West Ham's Honoka Hayashi in the 87th minute and despite ten minutes of stoppage time, the Swedes defended resolutely to secure their place in a semi-final against Spain. 

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