On Friday, Sweden held on to defeat Japan 2-1 and advance to the Women's World Cup semifinal against Spain thanks to goals from Filippa Angeldal and Amanda Ilestedt.
At Eden Park in Auckland, center-back Ilestedt scored just after the half-hour mark to give Sweden a justifiable lead and hand Japan its first World Cup loss. Before Japan attempted a comeback, Angeldal made it 2-0 from a penalty seven minutes into the second half. Riko Ueki missed a penalty kick, and Honoka Hayashi pulled one back with three minutes remaining in regulation.
Then, despite a late downpour, Sweden managed to reach the semifinals for the third time in the previous four World Cups.
Following the United States, Germany, and Norway out, the 2011 champions Japan are the last remaining victor, and after next weekend's final in Sydney, a new name will be engraved on the trophy,