Sweden suffers extra time agony

World champions Germany took a significant step towards the one major trophy they have never won when they reached the Olympic women's football semi-finals after beating Sweden 2-0 in Beijing on Friday.

Both goals came in extra-time from Frankfurt midfielder Kirsten Gerefrekes and Duisberg’s Simone Laudehr.

As has been the pattern through the tournament, the Germans have been stolid rather than spectacular, making hard work of moving forward and only occasionally threatening the Swedish goal.

But their defence, marshalled by goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, has been rock solid. It has yet to concede a goal with Germany going through their Group matches with a scoreless draw against Brazil and 1-0 victories over North Korea and Nigeria.

Veteran German captain Birgit Prinz squandered her side’s best chance in the first-half when she worked her way around Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.

But with the path clear, Prinz pushed her shot wide of the right-hand post, leaving a despairing coach Silvia Neid on the touchline with her head in her hands.

Late in the second-half, Prinz fired wide to the right when she had drawn Lindahl well out of the goal and regular time ended goalless.

Gerefrekes eventually found the net for Germany when she headed home a corner in the 13th minute of extra-time, forcing Sweden to go all out on attack to try to find the equalizer.

Laudehr sealed the outcome with the second goal five minutes from time to set Germany up for a semi-final against Brazil on Monday – a repeat of last year’s World Cup final which Germany won 2-0.


Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.