(UPDATE 1) Nadeshiko Japan Loses to Sweden

Magdalena Eriksson celebrates after Sweden’s victory over Japan in their Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match in Auckland on Friday.

Nadeshiko Japan’s bid to regain the Women’s World Cup title it won in 2011 ended with a pair of unfortunate bounces and a 2-1 loss to Sweden in the quarterfinals on Friday in Auckland.

Amanda Ilestedt scored in the first half and Filippa Angeldal converted a penalty kick in the second as world No. 3 Sweden advanced to a semifinal clash with Spain, which defeated the Netherlands 2-1 in extra time earlier in the day.

Second-half sub Honoka Hayashi gave Japan some late hope with an opportunistic goal off a loose ball in the box in the 87th minute, but Sweden held on to secure the win.

Japan had missed two chances earlier in the second half. Riko Ueki planted a penalty kick off the crossbar in the 75th minute that ricocheted down but just outside the goal line. About 10 minutes later, Aoba Fujino launched a free kick that hit both the crossbar and a side post before bouncing down onto the line, but not over it.

The victory was a virtual repeat of Sweden’s 3-1 win over Japan two years ago in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics, where the Swedes went on to win the silver medal.

Sweden dominated in terms of ball possession, leaving chances few and far between for a Japanese squad that had scored 14 goals in its previous four matches.Fujino forced a save by keeper Zecira Musovic in the 71st minute in one of the few forays, almost all late in the game.

Ilstedt scored the opener for Sweden in the 32nd minute, poking the ball home during a scramble in front of the goal following a free kick.

Midfielder Kosovare Asllani nearly added a second just before halftime when she rifled a shot that diving keeper Ayaka Yamashita tipped off her left goal post.

In the second half, the VAR system flagged midfielder Fuka Nagano for a handball during a Swedish corner kick, and Angeldal made the penalty kick in the 51st minute.

Sweden missed a chance with the first shot of the match in the 25th minute, when Stina Blackstenius slipped her defender after receiving a long pass but fired the ball wide.