Women's Euros: Lindahl respects England improvement ahead of semi-final clash

By Sports Desk July 24, 2022

Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl believes the investment and improvement in the English game in recent years means her nation's good record against their Women's European Championship semi-final opponents will mean very little.

The Swedes needed a late Linda Sembrant goal against Belgium in their quarter-final to advance to play tournament hosts England, who edged past Spain 2-1 in the last eight thanks to an extra-time thunderbolt from Georgia Stanway.

The two teams will face off on Tuesday at Bramall Lane, Sheffield for a place in the final.

England have won just three of their 26 meetings with Sweden in all competitions (D8 L15), while they have only lost more often against Germany (21) than they have against the Swedes.

However, when asked if this impressive record gives them an advantage during the team's media day on Sunday, former Chelsea stopper Lindahl said: "No, because we all know the development that's been in the English league, and the investment that's gone into English football in the last seven years.

"I know it first hand because I came to Chelsea in 2015 and I've seen the game take off in England. Obviously that will have an effect on the national team, because the league has grown and people have to grow with it. So you can't really rely on history.

"But what I do take with me is that we know these are players we've beaten. We've managed to beat them before and we can do it again."

The 39-year-old has made eight saves across her team's four games so far, conceding just two goals, and is looking forward to returning to Sheffield, where Sweden played their first two games against the Netherlands and Switzerland.

"I had imagined coming into this tournament that we would face England at some point. I wasn't aware of when we were able to see each other," she said. "I thought it was going to be at Wembley, but now it's in Sheffield, and I think that's a good thing for us because we played a few games there. It's kind of like our home pitch, and so I look forward to it."

Lindahl is well aware of the dangers England pose, with tournament top scorer Beth Mead in the form of her life, scoring five goals in the Euros and having had a hand in 31 goals in all competitions under Sarina Wiegman so far (19 goals, 12 assists) in 18 games.

"I think we've all seen how much success they've had with their wingers, especially Beth Mead," Lindahl added.

"They have quality players in every position and two of them in every position. So I think we're gonna face a collective, well-organised team under the leadership of their new coach. So it's going to be a tough one."

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