Germany have beaten Sweden 1-0 to reach their sixth consecutive Women's European Championship final. The Germans withstood a dangerous Sweden attack to earn the narrow victory.
For the sixth straight tournament, the German women's national football team will be playing in the European Championship final. A first-half goal from Dzsenifer Marozsan was the decider at the Gamla Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg on Wednesday.
The deadlock was broken in the 33rd minute when Anja Mittag played Marozsan through on goal. The German striker's shot was slowed down by goalkeeper Kristin Hammarström, but no Sweden defender could reach the ball before it rolled into the back of the net.
For the remainder of the match it was tense watching for Germany fans.
Germany hold on
Sweden's attacking duo of Kosovare Asllani and superstar striker Lotta Schelin proved particular frustrating for the Germany defense. Time after time the tournament hosts created dangerous opportunities in the box. It was only fantastic play from team captain and goalkeeper Nadine Angerer and a little bit of luck that kept the Swedish onslaught at bay.
Sweden's best opportunity came from Schelin right around the hour mark. The forward was played through and sent a wonderful first-time finish into the top right corner of the net, but replays showed she was clearly offside and the referee disallowed the goal.
Germany held their breath when the fourth official held up the sign for four minutes of stoppage time as the final whistle drew near. The Swedes continued to get the ball in the box, but Germany's enormous defensive effort paid off and the match finished 1-0.
For Sweden it was a bitter defeat in a match they will surely feel they deserved to win. It is the second time they have suffered a semifinal defeat at the hands of Germany, in addition to their two losses in the final in 1995 and 2001.
For the Germans, winners of the last five European Championships going back to 1995, the victory means have the chance to win their seventh continental title (they also won the 1991 edition of the tournament). They will play the winners of the Norway-Denmark match in the final on Sunday.