Latest updates from the Women’s World Cup semi-final

Stina Blackstenius of Sweden controls the ball against Teresa Abelleira of Spain during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Semi Final match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park on August 15, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand

Stina Blackstenius of Sweden controls the ball against Teresa Abelleira of Spain during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Semi Final match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park on August 15, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand

09:42 AM BST

40 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

Things getting a little turgid late in this first-half with neither side able to find the sort of quality required in the final third to generate a clear chance. Sweden would be much happier to be going at 0-0 though.

09:39 AM BST

39 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

Spain have been the far better side here but for all their dominance they have not yet generated a gilt-edged chance far less a goal. They are huffing and puffing but Sweden’s house looks fairly solid at present. Bonmati gives herself room to get a shot away but Musovic watches it go well wide.

09:36 AM BST

35 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

First flash of world-class quality from Putellas. She’s quickest to clearance from the Sweden before beating a defender with a delightful nutmeg and smashing her cross into the six-yard box. Sweden concede a corner – that could have been a lot more costly.

09:33 AM BST

33 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

This Spanish side is so gifted. From deep in their own half they play six first-touch passes in a row to get out of trouble before earning a free-kick on the half-way line. For all their dominance here it remains deadlocked though. That’s fine for Sweden – their chances will surely come.

09:30 AM BST

29 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

The Spanish threat is coming predominantly down the flanks early on here. Caldentey picks it up wide on the left and lifts another good ball into the Swedish six-yard box. Ilestedt is there to clear but Spain are looking the far more likely to break the deadlock here.

Spain's Ona Batlle in action with Sweden's Fridolina Rolfo

Spain’s Ona Batlle in action with Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfo

09:28 AM BST

26 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

Caldentey goes down fairly easily on the left as she looks to shield the ball from Bjorn. The referee blows her whistle, much to the Swedish defender’s chagrin. She had clear air to charge into the Spain half there.

09:25 AM BST

24 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

Carmona does well with a quick switch of play to find Redondo on the right. Andersson is caught out as the ball drifts over her head but again the Swedish defence scrambles well to negate any danger.

09:23 AM BST

21 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

Sweden are clearly content to allow Spain to dominate possession. That’s all well and good until Spain find a the chink in the armour. Bonmati does just that as she jinks delightfully inside from the left and lifts a ball towards Hermoso. It’s over the striker’s head though and Musovic claims.

09:19 AM BST

16 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

Sweden are struggling to string together attacking sequences but they will not be too concerned yet. Rolfo does well to win the ball back in midfield. She drives into the Spanish defence but is quickly crowded out.

Spain's defender #04 Irene Paredes fights for the ball with Sweden's forward #11 Stina Blackstenius during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup semi-final football match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park in Auckland on August 15, 2023

Spain’s defender #04 Irene Paredes fights for the ball with Sweden’s forward #11 Stina Blackstenius during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup semi-final football match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park in Auckland on August 15, 2023

09:16 AM BST

13 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

More good stuff from Spain. Hermoso does well to hold the ball up before feeding centre-back Carmona. She looks up and takes on an ambitious strike from all of 25 yards. She strikes it well and has Musovic at full stretch to her left only for the ball to skim wide.

09:13 AM BST

11 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

First real chance. Redondo is unmarked at the back post and heads the ball back across the six-yard box. It’s panic stations for the Sweden defenders but after some pinball action they do well to clear their lines.

09:11 AM BST

10 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

Bonmati makes a decent run down the right but Sweden are across to deal with the danger. Redondo’s cross moments later sails out of play. This game is waiting for someone to seize the initiative.

09:09 AM BST

7 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

A fairly subdued start but one in which Sweden have matched Spain for possession. When they lose it, they drop into a very compact defensive setup. They are not going to be easy to break down here.

Spain's Alexia Putellas, left, passes the ball as she is challenged by Sweden's Filippa Angeldal, center, and Nathalie Bjorn during the Women's World Cup semifinal soccer match between Sweden and Spain at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand

Spain’s Alexia Putellas, left, passes the ball as she is challenged by Sweden’s Filippa Angeldal, center, and Nathalie Bjorn during the Women’s World Cup semifinal soccer match between Sweden and Spain at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand

09:05 AM BST

4 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

At the other end, Blackstenius looks to feed Asllani rather than take on the shot from jsut outside the area. Could Sweden’s striker have pulled the trigger a tad quicker there?

09:03 AM BST

3 min: Spain 0 Sweden 0

Spain enjoy the first period of consistent attack, settling into the possession-based attack with which we have become so accustomed at this tournament. Caldentey beats the defender on the left and puts in a decent cross but Musovic claims well.

09:00 AM BST

We’re underway!

Sweden kick off attacking left to right.

08:58 AM BST

Moments away from kick-off

Anthems sung with a little less gusto than can be expected in Sydney tomorrow but the atmosphere is still crackling nicely in Auckland.

08:54 AM BST

Just a word…

…for Sweden’s pre-match clobber. Classy stuff.

Stina Lennartsson, Elin Rubensson and Jonna Andersson of Sweden inspect the pitch prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Semi Final match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park on August 15, 2023 in Auckland

Stina Lennartsson, Elin Rubensson and Jonna Andersson of Sweden inspect the pitch prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Semi Final match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park on August 15, 2023 in Auckland

08:52 AM BST

The teams are in the tunnel

There’s an impressive light show to welcome them out at Eden Park.

08:49 AM BST

How they got here…

Spain

Wins of Zambia and Costa Rica were enough to ensure qualification but a 4-0 loss to Japan signalled potential weaknesses. In spite of that, they crushed the Swiss 5-1 in the last-16 before edging out the Netherlands 2-1 in an extra-time thriller to get to this point.

Sweden

Group-stage wins over South Africa, Italy and Argentina proved they were one of of the sides to beat. They knocked out perennial powerhouses the USA in the last-16 on penalties before felling an in-from Japan side in the quarter-finals.

08:44 AM BST

Pre-match words from Spain’s Jenni Hermoso

“I always said that I wish I could win something with the national team and now I feel close,” said Hermoso.

“We are one victory away from the World Cup final.

“If we’re not nervous then something is not going right. To be in the final, to reach the final, just thinking about it gives me shivers. We are close to achieving this.”

08:39 AM BST

Will Sweden be hamstrung by past faliures?

No, says Arsenal’s Swedish boss Jonas Eidevall on BBC Sport.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “I know a lot of the players and no way will they be thinking about the past. They will believe in themselves and they will have a positive mindset.

“I’m a big believer that the more you play these decisive games, the more you are going to end up being on the winning side.”

08:35 AM BST

Eden Park is awash with colour

Swedish fans pose for a photo ahead of the Women's World Cup semifinal soccer match between Sweden and Spain at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Tuesday

Swedish fans pose for a photo ahead of the Women’s World Cup semifinal soccer match between Sweden and Spain at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Tuesday

Spain fans cheer before the start of the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup semi-final football match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park in Auckland on August 15, 2023

Spain fans cheer before the start of the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup semi-final football match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park in Auckland on August 15, 2023

Sweden fans pose before the start of the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup semi-final football match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park in Auckland on August 15, 2023

Sweden fans pose before the start of the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup semi-final football match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park in Auckland on August 15, 2023

Spain fans outside the stadium before the match

Spain fans outside the stadium before the match

A Spanish fans enjoy the atmosphere prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Semi Final match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park on August 15, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand

A Spanish fans enjoy the atmosphere prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Semi Final match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park on August 15, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand

08:31 AM BST

A superstar returns

Spain's Alexia Putellas warms up ahead of the Women's World Cup semifinal soccer match between Sweden and Spain at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand

Alexia Putellas is back in Spain’s lineup – AP Photo/Abbie Parr

08:28 AM BST

Team news – Sweden unchanged

Five Women’s Super League players feature in an unchanged Sweden lineup from the side which beat Japan 2-1 in the quarter-finals.

Sweden XI: Musovic, Andersson, Eriksson, Ilestedt, Bjorn, Rubensson, Angeldal, Rolfo, Asllani, Kaneryd, Blackstenius

08:26 AM BST

Team news – Putellas starts

The big news from the Spain camp is that two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas starts in midfield this evening.

Arguably the best player in the world, Putellas has been working her way back to fitness after a knee injury but is deemed fit enough to make the starting XI.

Spain’s XI: Coll, Batlle, Paredes, Codina, Carmona, Abelleira, Bonmati, Putellas, Redondo, Hermoso, Caldentey

08:20 AM BST

Semi-final time

Good morning and welcome to Eden Park for the first of the Women’s World Cup semi-finals as Spain and Sweden lock horns to become the first side to qualify for the big one in Sydney on Sunday.

Much of the attention will be focused on tomorrow’s seismic clash between co-hosts Australia and England but fans of both would do well to watch closely and assess the potent threat posed by the team who will be standing in their way in the final.

Spain have shown a little bit of everything throughout their journey to this semi-final.

Stefanie Van der Gragt’s equaliser in injury time appeared to hand the Dutch the initiative heading into extra-time but Spain rallied, with Salma Paralluelo’s goal eventually proving the difference between the sides.

Spain were asked to prove they had the steel to match their flair in that clash in Wellington, and did so with flying colours, but their opponent’s today have been doing that all tournament.

While on paper Sweden’s results fail to get the heart racing like Spain’s, their course to the last four has been as impressive for different reasons.

Hard-fought wins against the USA and Japan in the knockout stages have shown that, if anything, Sweden have the confidence to go toe-to-toe with the best sides in the world and get the job done.

Perhaps their greatest challenge will be shaking off a concerning habit of losing World Cup semi-finals. Of the four they have made since the tournament’s genesis in 1991, Sweden have gone to the final just once.

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