Women’s World Cupdate: Semis Are Set

Welcome to your daily 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup update, or Women’s World Cupdate, where we recap the past day’s proceedings from France while previewing what is still to come. These features will run every morning throughout the duration of the tournament and feature highlights, major news, and much more from France.


Here’s What Happened: Saturday, June 29th

One final day of quarterfinal action at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup provided plenty of fireworks and gave us our final two sides to complete the semifinal picture. At a boiling Stade du Hainaut, the Netherlands powered their way past an exhausted Italy side to reach their first ever Women’s World Cup semifinal. Later in the day, Sweden finally found the answer to Germany’s stalwart defense, and pulled off the upset to set up a meeting with the Netherlands in Lyon.

Italy 0-2 Netherlands

Two sides who already made so much history at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup were looking to make even more on Saturday. Due to the knockout format, only one side could leave Valenciennes happy, and it was the Netherlands who emerged victorious with a 2-0 victory over fellow European side Italy.

With temperatures soaring above 90 degrees, it was going to be a war of attrition between the squads to see who could survive long enough to advance. In the end, it was a superior Netherlands side taking the win, but Italy did not make it easy on them throughout the match.

Through the first 45 minutes of action, the Italy defense held the Netherlands off the scoreboard, but their offense wasted a few prime chances, allowing the Dutch to escape the first half in a scoreless draw. That all changed in the latter stages of the second half when the fresher Dutch legs just wore a tired Italy team into the ground. Vivianne Miedema gave her side the lead in the 70th minute, then Stefanie van der Gragt put the game away ten minutes later. Italy put up a valiant effort, but the talent and fitness of the Netherlands prevailed in the end.

With the win, the Netherlands advance to their first ever Women’s World Cup semifinal where they will face Sweden on Wednesday. For Italy, it is a bitter end to a historic tournament that gives them much to build on for the future.

Goals

  • Vivianne Miedema | NED (70′)
  • Stefanie van der Gragt | NED (80′)

Highlights

Germany v. Sweden

Through four games in France, Germany appeared to be the best side in the tournament, winning all for contests while allowing no goals to the opposition. In the opening 15 minutes against Sweden, it looked to be more of the same, until Sweden flipped the script and pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament with a 2-1 victory.

Germany were relentless in the early going and were rewarded for their dominant play with one of the finest goals you will see at any level of the game. Lina Magull nearly botched a great pass that put her alone against the keeper, but she gathered herself and blasted home a half-volley shot with a scissor kick to give Germany the 1-0 lead.

It appeared as if Germany were in complete command, but everything came unraveled just six minutes after Magull put them in front. Sofia Jakobsson ran under a long ball from a teammate, broke through the German back line, then neatly deposited it into the back of the net to even the score and record the first goal against Germany in this tournament.

Halftime came and went with the score tied, but just three minutes out of the break, things went from bad to worse for the Germans. Off a terrific save by the German keeper Almuth Schult, Stina Blackstenius was in the right place at the right time to collect the rebound and hammer it home to give Sweden a 2-1 lead in the second half.

That goal from Blackstenius turned out to be enough, as Sweden locked down on defense and held on for the victory and a semifinal showdown with the Netherlands in Lyon. The victory also erased a 24 year losing streak against Germany in major tournament play.

Goals

  • Lina Magull | GER (16′)
  • Sofia Jakobsson | SWE (22′)
  • Stina Blackstenius | SWE (48′)

Highlights


Plays of the Day

The final day of quarterfinal play at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup provided us with plenty of moments to talk about from scissor kicks, to historic headers, and a goal that finally cracked a flawless Germany defense.

Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)

Vivianne Miedema is only 22 years old and already the leading scoring in Netherlands history. Her goal on Saturday not only added to her total, but sent the Dutch to their first Women’s World Cup semifinal birth in the nation’s history.

Lina Magull (Germany)

Not exactly the picture perfect first touch from Magull off a brilliant pass, but she more than made up for it with a dazzling scissor kick goal that put Germany in front early and rewarded them for a dominating start against Sweden.

Sofia Jakobsson (Sweden)

This was just an overall brilliant team goal from start to finish for Sweden. Jakobsson will get the accolades for her finish, but the long ball from teammate Linda Sembrandt that sprung her free was world class as well.


Bracket Update

Here’s a quick look at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup knockout bracket with the final two quarterfinal matches now complete.

D-P8n3FUIAME_AI.jpg
via @FOXSoccer

With the Netherlands and Sweden winning on Saturday, the semifinal matches are now set. England and the United States meet on Tuesday with the Netherlands and Sweden set to square off on Wednesday. Both matches will take place at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France.

Semifinal Outlook

July 2nd: England v. United States

July 3rd: Netherlands v. Germany/Sweden

As we have done for both the Round of 16 and the Quarterfinals to this point, we will run a special preview of the Semifinals before action kicks off on Tuesday in Lyon. We’ll discuss all the teams, preview the matches, and tell you what to watch out for as the remaining four sides battle it out for a spot in the Women’s World Cup Final.


Here’s What’s Next: Tuesday, July 2nd

Semifinal action at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins on Tuesday with the first of the two matches taking place at the Stade de Lyon. Both semifinal matches and the Final will take place in Lyon, with the Third Place Match heading a little farther south to Nice.

It will be the United States and England getting the semifinal round underway in a match between two long standing rivals, at least from a political standpoint. The rivalry from a soccer standpoint carries much less history, but it should be a great match nonetheless between two of the best sides in the world.

England v. United States

England bulldozed its way past Norway in the quarterfinals while the United States scraped by France in a nailbiter. Now the two will meet on the pitch in Lyon in the first of two semifinal matches. The winner moves on to the Women’s World Cup Final back in Lyon while the loser is relegated to the Third Place Match in Nice. This is a matchup between two of the top three ranked teams in the world so there is sure to be fireworks. One other thing to watch out for, the top three goal scorers at the tournament will be on the pitch with Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Ellen White all expected to play.

  • Time: 3:00 PM
  • Location: Stade de Lyon (Lyon)
  • How to Watch: FOX

You can watch all these matches live on the channels listed or streaming online at FoxSports.com with a cable sign in.

If highlights are more your style, check out @FOXSoccer on Twitter where goals and game recaps are posted throughout the day.

All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.


Golden Boot Outlook

The Golden Boot Award goes to the top goal scorer at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Screen Shot 2019-06-29 at 4.46.45 PM.png
via FIFA.com

As the tournament enters the final week of play, the Golden Ball is still up for grabs. It looks to be a three player race between Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Ellen White, but there are still a lot of talented scorers left that could spoil the party with a good showing. All remaining players are guaranteed at least two more matches with the Third Place Match now in play.

Not shown on this list are Netherlands leading scorer Vivianne Miedema who sits in 12th with three goals, and Sweden’s leading scorer Kosovare Asllani in 17th on two goals.


Keep up to date on everything Women’s World Cup right here on “The Bat Flip” where we will be posting our daily Women’s World Cupdate to recap what went on and preview what’s still to come in France.

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