Defending champions Germany withstood a staggering assault by hosts Sweden to secure a narrow 1-0 win and advance to the final of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2013, where they will face Norway or Denmark.
It was a game the hosts dominated everywhere except for on the scoreboard.
However, despite creating a slew of chances in front of a sellout home crowd, Sweden could not find a way through the massed German ranks.
From the first whistle it looked like it would just be a matter of time before Sweden scored, but instead it was seven-time European champions Germany that took the lead in the 33rd minute.
Midfielder Dzsenifer Maroszan latched on to Anja Mittag’s pass and hit a weak shot under pressure, but she got enough power for the ball to roll over the line at the foot of goalkeeper Kristin Hammarstrom’s post.
Roared on by the partisan crowd, Sweden attacked in wave after wave and twice should have canceled out Maroszan’s opener.
First Lotta Schelin swept the ball into the back of the net for Sweden on the hour mark, but the referee disallowed the goal for a push on Annike Krahn.
Then, Josefin Oqvist rolled the ball past Nadine Angerer for what looked to be a certain equalizer, only for it to hit the far post and agonizingly stay out.
Germany are to face off against either Norway or Denmark, who were to meet yesterday night in Norrkoping, Sweden.