FIFA Women's World Cup
Women's World Cup Daily: Spain's super sub sets up semifinal with Sweden
FIFA Women's World Cup

Women's World Cup Daily: Spain's super sub sets up semifinal with Sweden

Updated Aug. 12, 2023 7:40 a.m. ET

Spain will play Sweden in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup semifinals after both teams took care of business on the first day of the quarterfinals. The other half of the bracket will be settled on Saturday with a marquee matchup between Australia and France, followed by England and Colombia. All six remaining teams would be first-time winners of the tournament.

Here's a recap of everything that happened in the first leg of quarterfinals and a look ahead to Saturday:


— Spain will play in the semifinal of a major tournament for just the second time ever and for the first time at the FIFA Women's World Cup. Its last semifinal appearance was at Euro 1997.


Read more: World Cup NOW: Spain's extra-time triumph a testament to its 'identity'

Spain vs. Netherlands Highlights | 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup | Quarterfinals

— Spain's Salma Paralluelo, who's 19 years and 271 days old, is the youngest player and first teenager ever to score in extra time at a Women's World Cup. Her goal was also the first extra time goal of this year's tournament.

Read more: Salma Paralluelo, a 19-year-old sub, pushes Spain to semis with historic strike

— Ahead of the Netherlands' matchup with Spain, Dutch forward Lineth Beerensteyn shared that she was happy to see the United States eliminated from the tournament. When the Netherlands lost to Spain on Thursday, USWNT legend Sydney Leroux returned the favor.

Read more: Sydney Leroux claps back at Dutch star who trolled USWNT over early World Cup exit

Stefanie van der Gragt's goal was the 147th of the tournament, which broke the previous all-time Women's World Cup record. The total is up to 151 with six matches left to play.

— Sweden will make its fifth overall Women's World Cup semifinal appearance, tying Germany for second-most all-time (U.S. 8, Germany 5, Sweden 5, Norway 4).

Read more: Sweden holds off Japan, sets up delicious semifinals match with Spain

— Seven of Sweden’s last 10 goals at the Women's World Cup have come from set piece situations, including its first on Friday.

Japan vs. Sweden Highlights | 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup | Quarterfinals

Amanda Ilestedt scored her fourth goal of the tournament on Friday, which is tied for the second-most of any player so far. The player she's chasing? Hinata Miyazawa, who has five goals but was eliminated with Japan. The Golden Boot is Ilestedt's for the taking.

Read more: Golden Boot race tracker: 2023 Women's World Cup top scorers

— Looking to Saturday, Australia's star striker Sam Kerr could get her first start of the tournament against France, but only if she's "fit to play 90 minutes." 

Read more: Australia's balancing act: Work in Sam Kerr without disrupting chemistry

— With almost a week to process their heartbreaking loss, the stars of the USWNT are slowly starting to unpack their feelings on social media. "It hurts and it will for a while but this wound will eventually turn into a scar," USWNT legend Alex Morgan wrote.


Assist of the Day: Splitting the defense

The Netherlands likely wouldn't have even gone to extra time had it not been for the brilliance of Victoria Pelova. Instead of running to receive the ball from the midfield, Pelova waited for the ball to roll to her and didn't touch it until the Dutch defense committed. Once it did, she sneaked the ball past Katja Snoeijs and straight to Stefanie van der Gragt, who was just onside. Win or lose, it was a spectacular assist.

Netherlands' Stefanie Van der Gragt scores goal vs. Spain in 90+1' | 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Goal of the Day: Paralluelo's breakout moment

Salma Paralluelo was in a tough spot. Where she received the ball wasn't good enough for her to run straight at the goal, even with her blistering pace, but it also wasn't deep enough for a cross to the far post to make sense. So, instead, Paralluelo took her defender one-on-one, created some space inside the box and shot it across the face of goal. That is superstar stuff from a 19-year-old playing in her first World Cup.

Salma Paralluelo's GAME-WINNING goal for Spain vs. the Netherlands | Every Angle

Must-See Moment: Scenes for Spain

The moment that Spain stepped onto the pitch, it made history as the first Spanish women's team to play in a FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals. Now through to the semis, Spain is only two wins away from becoming just the second Spanish team ever to win the World Cup.


FOX Sports Research Numbers To Know

15 — Shots by Caitlin Foord, the most of any Australian player, seven more than any other teammate. Foord has one goal (vs. Denmark) and two assists as she's carried the load up front for the injured Sam Kerr.

Australia vs. France (coverage begins at 2 a.m. ET, with kickoff at 3 a.m. on FOX)

25 — FIFA ranking of Colombia — the lowest of any team to reach the Women's World Cup quarterfinals. The previous low was 16th-ranked China (2015). The Steel Roses lost, 1-0, to the United States in the quarterfinals.

England vs. Colombia (coverage begins at 5:30 a.m. ET, with kickoff at 6:30 a.m. on FOX)

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