After a bad first day for Arsenal players in the Round of 16 at the Women’s World Cup, days two and three of the knockout rounds have been far kinder to the Gunners.
In the early match on Sunday morning, Victoria Pelova was again part of the Netherlands side who defeated South Africa 2-0 to set up a quarter-final tie with Spain. The real drama came later on however, as Arsenal’s trio of Swedes were centre stage for arguably the most dramatic match of the competition so far.
Stina Blackstenius and Amanda Ilestedt started for Sweden against defending champions USA, with Lina Hurtig a late second half substitute. The game finished 0-0 with penalties required to separate the teams. It was Sweden who went through after an agonising VAR delay. Lina Hurtig took the decisive spot kick which needed VAR to decipher that her kick had crossed the line by about one millimetre. Sweden play Japan in the quarter-finals.
— Believe🐆 (@SamuelMbah_) August 6, 2023
On Monday, Alessia Russo led the line for England with Lotte Wubben-Moy an unused sub against Nigeria. This match also went all the way to penalties as England were handicapped by a second half red card for Lauren James. But England prevailed on spot-kicks and will meet the winner of Colombia v Jamaica in the quarters on Saturday.
Finally, hosts Australia dispatched Denmark 2-0 with Steph Catley captaining the side. Caitlin Foord played and opened the scoring in that game before Hayley Raso added a second. Kathrine Kuhl played 78 minutes for Denmark but she will now be coming home.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 7, 2023
Meanwhile, Russo, Wubben-Moy, Foord, Catley, Pelova, Blackstenius, Hurtig and Ilestedt march onto the quarter-finals which will be played on Friday and Saturday.