Netherlands beat Sweden to reach first World Cup final

The Netherlands reached their first Women’s World Cup final after Manchester United midfielder Jackie Groenen’s sweet extra-time strike settled their cagey semi-final against Sweden.

The European champions will face holders the United States in Lyon on Sunday, after Jill Ellis’ side’s win over England.

The 48,452 fans inside the Stade de Lyon had looked set to endure a nervy penalty shootout, before Groenen’s crisp low shot sunk the Swedes’ hopes of reaching their second final.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal had earlier kept the Dutch on level terms with three important saves, before Gunners striker Vivianne Miedema’s header was touched on to Sweden’s crossbar at the other end.

Substitute Shanice van de Sanden’s fierce shot was then tipped wide by Hedvig Lindahl to send the game to extra time and the Dutch eventually found a way through.

Sweden, who were playing in their fourth semi-final after stunning Germany in the last eight, will now face England in Saturday’s third-place play-off in Nice.

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