Germany enters their quarterfinal matchup against Sweden looking to secure their sixth consecutive match without a defeat against the Swedish women as they seek their first Women’s World Cup title since 2007, according to reports by The Independent. After starting slowly in their first two matches, it appears that Germany is operating in top form, winning their previous two by a combined score of 7-0. Sweden has had an arguably more difficult path to this match, as they were able to brush aside a hard-fought but disappointing defeat to the United States and knock out a talented Canadian side in the Round of 16.
Currently ranked second in the world, the German women will look to shake off their underwhelming performances in recent World Cups, having yet to make a final since their 2007 appearance. Their current squad is full of players that are seeking to make their own history, led by captain Alexandra Popp. Popp is the face of this current generation of German women, securing her 100th cap on Saturday against Nigeria. Popp provides not only leadership qualities but a scoring threat, as she added another goal to her international career in that Round of 16 match.
Germany will be hoping that her attacking partner Dzsenifer Marozsán will be able to return from injury after fracturing her toe in Germany’s opening match. Even below full health, the Lyon striker remains an unparalleled goal threat and will be seeking to add to her silverware after her third-place finish in the Ballon d’Or Féminin and victory in the Women’s Champions League in May. Both Marozsán and Popp were a part of the same squad that defeated Sweden in the final of the 2016 Olympics.
That 2016 tournament was a return to the top of the international stage for the Swedes, seeing them come agonizingly close to lifting a trophy for the first time since 1984 when they won a Women’s European Championship that featured only four teams. En route to the final, Sweden secured a famous victory over the United States, knocking out the top-ranked team in the world on penalties.
In that team was Stina Blackstenius, who scored against the Americans and was Sweden’s lone goal in their 2-1 defeat in the final. Blackstenius’ tournament form has continued to this day, as the forward scored the winning goal against Canada in the Round of 16 and secured their passage. She will have to live up to her reputation as a big game scorer if Sweden is to defeat the German women for the first time since their 4-2 victory in the 2015 Algarve Cup group stages.
Date: Saturday, June 29
Time: 6:30 p.m. local, 5:30 p.m. BST, 12:30 p.m. ET
TV Info: Fox Sports 1 (U.S.), BBC Red Button (UK)