Sweden breaks through stout German defence to grab surprising victory
Germany was presumptive favourite on its side of bracket
Stina Blackstenius scored the go-ahead goal just minutes into the second half and Sweden surprised Germany with a 2-1 quarter-final victory Saturday night at the Women's World Cup.
The second-ranked Germans, who won back-to-back World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007, were the presumptive favorites on their side of the bracket. Instead, they'll head home.
Ninth-ranked Sweden goes on to face the Netherlands in a semifinal match on Wednesday in Lyon. The Dutch defeated Italy 2-0 earlier Saturday. The United States plays England in the other semifinal on Tuesday. The final is July 7.
The game was a rematch of the 2003 World Cup final, which Germany won 2-0 in Shanghai. The teams also met in the final at the 2016 Olympics, with Germany winning its first gold medal with a 2-1 victory.
Congratulations 🇬🇧<a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamGB</a>, 🇸🇪<a href="https://twitter.com/svenskfotboll?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@svenskfotboll</a> & 🇳🇱<a href="https://twitter.com/oranjevrouwen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@oranjevrouwen</a>, who are headed to the Women's Olympic Football Tournament <a href="https://twitter.com/Tokyo2020?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tokyo2020</a>! <a href="https://t.co/GPFrB2S9QG">pic.twitter.com/GPFrB2S9QG</a>—@FIFAcom
Lina Magull's fantastic finish on a half-volley put Germany up in the 16th minute, with Sara Daebritz setting up the goal that veteran Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl couldn't get to.
Sweden's Sofia Jakobsson tied it in the 22nd minute with a strike that went under the outstretched leg of German goalkeeper Almuth Schult.
First goals against for Germany
It was the first goal the Germans had allowed at the World Cup, stopping a streak of 381 scoreless minutes. In 2007, Germany went a record 540 minutes without conceding a goal.
Blackstenius scored on a rebound off Fridolina Rolfo's header just about three minutes into the second half to break the stalemate.
With temperatures in the upper 80s in Rennes, the teams were allowed a water break in each half.
Dzsenifer Marozsan returned to the bench for Germany after missing three matches with a broken toe on her left foot. Marozsan was injured in Germany's opening match against China.
She started the second half and sent a free kick toward the goal in the 87th minute, but Lena Oberdorf's header was off the mark.
Marozsan was an inspirational story for the tournament in France, having returned to the game after a pulmonary embolism kept her sidelined for several months last year.
Lindahl, playing in her fifth World Cup, finished with five saves in the match.
With the win, Sweden secured a spot in the 2020 Olympics, along with the Netherlands and Great Britain. The top three European teams at the World Cup qualify for an Olympic berth.
Germany and Sweden had met four times at the World Cup before Saturday, splitting the results.
The Germans had won 12 straight matches going into the World Cup.