Photo Credit: Maja Hitij – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Four teams remain at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, with ninety-plus minutes standing between Spain and Sweden and a spot in the World Cup Final.
Spain, who finished second in their group, have been impressing more and more as the tournament goes on, with a 5-1 victory over Switzerland and a 2-1 extra-time win against the Netherlands their path to the semi-finals.
Sweden have registered two memorable knockout stage wins, overcoming the last two nations to win the World Cup – first in a dramatic penalty shoot-out against the USA and then a hard-fought 2-1 win in Auckland over Japan.
Head Coach Peter Gerhardsson is aware that his side may have a physical advantage over Spain and thinks it could be a difference maker at both ends of the pitch.
“One of our strengths is set pieces – both in the offence and defence. We have not just the strength however but players who are technically skilled.
“It’s part of the game. We work a lot on our structure on set pieces, so we see this as one possibility for us to win this game, absolutely,” Gerhardsson said.
Their opponents Spain have grown into the tournament as their campaign continues – seeing off a dogged Netherlands in Wellington in their quarter-final tie.
One of the highlights has been the form of Jennifer Hermoso and the CF Pachuca star wasn’t worried about any pre-match nerves as her side look forward to the biggest match in the history of Spanish women’s football.
“If we’re not nervous then something’s not going right! We have to feel that nervous sense in our stomach and to have the willpower to reach the final.
“Just thinking about it gives me shivers. We are close to achieving this but we have tomorrow’s (Tuesday) game – it’s another final as far as we’re concerned and we’ll take it on as we have with all of our matches at this World Cup,” Hermoso said.
Neither nation has tasted World Cup glory before and for Spain, victory would see them into their first ever final. Once again at this FIFA Women’s World Cup, history beckons.
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™
Spain v Sweden
Eden Park, Auckland