Netherlands vs. Sweden live updates, score, how to watch

Netherlands vs. Sweden live updates, score, how to watch

Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal makes a save as Sweden’s Sofia Jakobsson closes in. (Franck Fife / AFP/Getty Images)

In-game updates

37th minute: A defensive battle

Much of the so far has been a battle of attrition. The sides have combined for five shots, three corners and 32 defensive clearances. Both teams, especially the Netherlands, are playing it safe knowing a trip to the World Cup championship match is perhaps only one goal away.

13th minute: Sweden draws the first chance

And it was a very Swedish opportunity. After a Dutch turnover in the midfield, Sofia Jakobsson was able to turn, push the tempo upfield and thread a ball to Stina Blackstenius. Dutch keeper Sari Van Veenendaal smothered the shot and was able to pounce on the rebound to end the scoring opportunity.

And we’re off!

The Netherlands is playing in its first Women’s World Cup semifinal. For Sweden, this is its fourth appearance in the semifinal round. The winner will face the United States on Sunday at 11 a.m., in Lyon.

Starting lineups

Setting the stage

Behold: A match that seems to be predictably unpredictable. How’s that to decide the final spot in the Women’s World Cup final?

Sweden for five matches has played a prototypically Swedish brand of soccer. It drops 10 players behind the ball and dares opponents to try to score. Passes that could slice up less fastidious defenses become turnovers. Crosses into the box are swept away with ease. Shots on target get pawed down by the tournament’s top keeper, Hedvig Lindahl.

Then, what’s this? Stina Blackstenius or Sofia Jakobsson somehow behind the opposing back four? A good Swedish clearance by any other name is a precise and practical through ball, the kind that undid Germany and Canada, too, and gave the United States plenty of trouble in group-stage play.

The Netherlands will counter with its own free-flowing style: fast-paced, tons of passing, acrobatic play in the air, and watch out for those set pieces. Vivianne Miedema has three goals and may be the best there is attacking with her head. Lieke Martens has enough oomph in her shot to threaten from long range. Sherida Spitse has four assists, the most in the tournament.

They’ll all have room to operate as Sweden allows the Dutch to control possession, but will they have enough meaningful chances to make an impact? That’s hard to predict.

Sweden is in the World Cup semifinals for the fourth time; only the United States and Germany have reached this stage more often. The Netherlands is in the semifinals for the first time. The winner will face the U.S. in Sunday’s final. The loser will face England in Saturday’s third-place match.

What you need to know

When: Wednesday, 3 p.m. Eastern.

Where: Stade de Lyon, Lyon, France.

TV: FS1, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo.

Streaming: Fox Sports.

Pregame reading

The U.S. is in the World Cup final with a stop of penalty and a spot of tea

An evening that began with intrigue concerning a high-profile absence ended in high drama and full glory for the U.S. national soccer team Tuesday as it defeated England, 2-1, and advanced to the Women’s World Cup final for the third consecutive time. (Read more)

The U.S. women’s national team is fearless. It showed again in a win against England.

To get past England — their final hurdle in earning a spot in Sunday’s championship match — the top-ranked U.S. women had to tap every tactic in their repertoire, summon the best from lightly tested players and, yet again, draw on the stone-cold conviction that there was no situation they couldn’t overcome. (Read more)

The USWNT is after something far more subversive than just better pay

It’s time to discard, finally, the nagging, jersey-tugging, chronic, small-minded doctrine that we must “contextualize” everything the U.S. women’s national team does as “relative” to the men’s game, and therefore they must be smaller, lesser, writes columnist Sally Jenkins. Sweet kicking Jesus, what titans these players are. Mental giants who show up big under unimaginably hot lights of controversy. (Read more)

World Cup merchandise is hard to find despite sport’s growing popularity

Fans in France have flaunted their passion for women’s soccer and flexed their buying power by traveling to cheer in person. But visitors to host cities such as Paris, Le Havre and Reims have found little in the way of Women’s World Cup souvenirs to take home — that is, if they can find FIFA’s Official Fan Shops at all. (Read more)

Sweden upsets Germany to burst back into Women’s World Cup semifinals

Sweden’s clinical 2-1 unmasking of favorite Germany on Saturday had every Swedish element. The defending was top-notch. The finishes were effective but not flashy. The chemistry and creativity were anything but spontaneous. (Read more)

Netherlands beats Italy to reach Women’s World Cup semifinals for first time

So complete was the Dutch domination — they controlled nearly 60 percent of possession — that a frustrated Italian side picked up four yellow cards trying to win the ball back. The Netherlands broke through on two set pieces. (Read more)

Lyon’s championship soccer club is a model of gender equity and a vision for women’s sports

Lyon forged a women’s superteam and an unprecedented dynasty in Europe. The Lyon men won an unprecedented seven consecutive Ligue 1 championships between 2002 and 2008, but it was the women who took center stage this summer. In May, the Lyon women won their fourth consecutive Champions League title and sixth overall. (Read more)

The U.S. still reigns over women’s soccer, but challengers to the throne are gaining strength

The world is coming for the U.S. women’s soccer team, and many of the new challengers are from Europe. (Read more)

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