Photo Credit: Jan Kruger – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
A flurry of late goals settled a dramatic FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-final in Auckland as Spain overcame Sweden to advance to their first ever World Cup Final.
There was little action to write home about for the majority of the match, Spain enjoying long spells of possession and Sweden – as expected – posing their biggest threat from set pieces and crosses into the box but neither side carved out any clear chances.
In the last ten minutes the tie sprang into life, when teenage star Salma Paralluelo scored what many inside Eden Park expected to be the winner. Reacting first to a loose ball in the penalty area and finishing smartly past Zecira Musovic.
Just 94 seconds later however, the Swedes drew level. A cross from the left was nodded down by substitute Lina Hurtig allowing fellow sub Rebecka Blomqvist to expertly guide her effort into the far corner, past the outstretched reach of Cata Coll.
It seemed an extra 30 minutes was on the cards but with stoppage time approaching, a quickly taken Spanish corner found Olga Carmona on the edge of the area and her left-footed strike deceived Musovic, crashing in off the underside of the bar to break Swedish hearts and set Spain on course for Sydney and a final clash with either Australia or England.
Spain: 2 (Salma PARALLUELO 81, Olga CARMONA 89′)
Sweden: 1 (Rebecka BLOMQVIST 88′)