The winner faces Team USA for the championship this weekend
Only one game remains before the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup champion is decided. The second semifinal pits European powers the Netherlands against Sweden. These two teams started as two of the nine teams from the continent that qualified, and as the World Cup has progressed they are among the only European teams still standing. Both teams are in search of their first-ever World Cup trophy.
This is the third semifinal appearance for the Swedes and their first since 2011. The Dutch, on the other hand, are making their first-ever trip to the semifinals in just their second World Cup tournament. They were eliminated in the Round of 16 back in 2015. The winner of this game plays the United States for the title on Sunday, while the other team plays England (the other European squad remaining) for third place on Saturday.
Netherlands vs. Sweden
When: Wednesday, July 3 at 3 p.m. ET
Where: Parc Olympique Lyonnais (Decines-Charpieu, France)
TV: FOX and Telemundo
Three Things to Watch
1. How the Netherlands got here
The Dutch won Group E with a 3-0-0 record. They defeated New Zealand, Cameroon, and Canada by the combined score of 6-2. In the knockout stage, they defeated Japan 2-1, then eliminated Italy 2-0 in the quarterfinals nearly a week later. Now they take on a Swedish team that's still considered a small favorite to win the Women's World Cup.
2. How Sweden got here
Sweden finished second in Group F (2-1-0, 6 points) with their only loss coming to Team USA (2-0). In their other group play games, the Swedes outscored Thailand and Chile 7-1. In the Round of 16, Sweden shut out Canada (1-0) and then got by Germany (2-1). With a win over the Netherlands, Sweden will get another shot at Team USA with the stakes even higher.
This will be the 22nd time that Sweden and the Netherlands have played against one another. Sweden owns a 10-6-5 advantage, outscoring the Dutch 33-17. The Netherlands, however, won the last game, a friendly that was played in March 2017.
History is on Sweden's side and they'll use that to propel themselves into the finals and get the anticipated rematch with Team USA.
Prediction: Sweden 3, Netherlands 1
— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.