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Spain 2-1 Sweden: Late Carmona winner fires La Roja into World Cup final
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Olga Carmona fired Spain into the World Cup final (AP Photo/Andrew Cornaga)
Olga Carmona fired Spain into the World Cup final (AP Photo/Andrew Cornaga)

Olga Carmona’s stunning late winner fired Spain into the World Cup final with a 2-1 win against Sweden.

In a cagey contest with few chances for either side, the game suddenly sprung into life in the final stages with three goals in the final 10 minutes of normal time.

Barcelona winger Salma Paralluelo, 19, gave Spain the lead in the 81st minute, but her goal was soon cancelled out by Rebecka Blomqvist.

But Carmona responded in emphatic fashion just one minute later, sealing a final clash against either Australia or England on Sunday.

Spain kept possession well in the opening stages and had a chance when a looping cross found Alba Redondo at the back post, but her header was cleared by Sweden.

They struck again minutes later with some good build-up around the box allowing Carmona to shoot from the edge of the area, but it just whistled past the bottom corner.

Sweden then had a half-chance at the other end when Johanna Rytting Kaneryd headed wide before Aitana Bonmati looped a cross in for Jennifer Hermoso but goalkeeper Zecira Musovic comfortably collected.

Another attack came from a Spanish free-kick which went as far as Alexia Putellas, who whipped the ball into the box and Magdalena Eriksson did well to quickly head the ball away.

Sweden had a great opportunity to take the lead just before half-time when Nathalie Bjorn picked out Fridolina Rolfo at the back post, but her half-volley was pushed away by Cata Coll.

A slow start to the second half saw Stina Blackstenius try her luck from the right-hand side of the box, but her attempt was easily saved by Coll, who then made an excellent dive to palm Rytting Kaneryd’s cross away.

Spain had some tidy build-up play around the box and had a great opportunity when Hermoso found Redondo in the box, but she was unable to cleanly strike it.

The match looked destined for extra time with neither side having any real clear-cut chances, but it suddenly burst into life in the final 10 minutes with three goals in eight minutes.

After dominating possession, Spain finally found the breakthrough in the 81st minute when Hermoso’s cross was cleared into the path of Paralluelo and the substitute tucked the ball into the bottom corner.

Their lead was short-lived though as Sweden hit back in the 88th minute when Lina Hurtig headed down a cross for Blomqvist to smash the ball first time across the goalkeeper and into the top corner.

Spain snatched the winner just one minute later when a short corner was played out to Carmona on the edge of the area and she smashed the ball from the outside of the box above Musovic’s head, with the goalkeeper unable to get a strong enough hand to keep it out.


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