Football News

England 4-0 Sweden: Lionesses end hoodoo and reach first final since 2009

By Harry Edwards

Published: 15:42, 26 July 2022

England 4-0 Sweden. England will be looking to end a run of semi-final exits at major tournaments when they take on Sweden at Euro 2022 on Tuesday night.

The Lionesses are favourites to win Euro 2022 and have had a very good tournament so far, led by Sarina Wiegman. The Dutchwomen replaced Phil Neville as permanent England manager last summer and has taken charge of 18 games so far across all competitions, with the Lionesses yet to taste defeat.

In fact, they have only failed to win three matches within 90 minutes and one of those came in the quarter-finals of Euro 2022, which England eventually won 2-1 thanks to Georgia Stanway’s rocket in extra time. Scoring 100 goals, including 16 at Euro 2022, and conceding just four across Wiegman’s 18 games has optimism growing among fans of a first final since Euro 2009. But standing in their way is a nation they do not like playing against.

The latest Women's Euro 2022 outright odds

Nation 888Sport Paddy Power
England 8/11 8/11
Germany 1/1 1/1
*You have to be 18+ to gamble. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (10:00, 30/07/2022). BeGambleAware.

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Overall, England have faced Sweden 26 times across all competitions and have managed just three victories, with eight draws and 15 defeats. Only against Germany (21) have England lost more matches than they have vs Sweden, and there’s history at the Euros too.

This will be the seventh meeting between England and Sweden at the Women’s European Championships, with the Lionesses managing just one win. But even that win comes with an asterisk.

England and Sweden met in the final of Euro 1984, the inaugural tournament that consisted of just four teams, beating Denmark and Italy respectively in their semi-finals. With no fixed host nation, the final was played over two legs in Gothenburg and Luton in May 1984. Sweden won the first leg at home 1-0 thanks to Pia Sundhage’s second-half strike but Linda Curl’s goal in the second leg saw the game go all the way to penalties. Curl missed her spot-kick, as did Lorraine Hanson, with Sweden eventually winning 4-3 on penalties.

Sweden then knocked England out of the semi-finals at Euro 1987 and helped dump them out of the groups at Euro 2005; hosts of the tournament, England went into their final group game against Sweden needing just a point to go through but Anna Sjostrom’s third-minute strike did the damage to a Lionesses side that was using the tournament as a learning experience.

The most recent meeting at the European Championships came in 2009, again in the group stage, but this time a draw was enough for England to secure passage and actually gave them a more favourable run to the final.

However, since that Euro 2009 final appearance, it’s been nothing but heartbreak for England in semi-finals. The Lionesses have reached the semi-finals of the past three major tournaments but haven’t managed to overcome that hurdle.

The run started at the 2015 World Cup, an agonising semi-final exit for Mark Sampson’s side against Japan that came via Laura Bassett’s injury-time own goal after Fara Williams had cancelled out Aya Miyama’s opener. Two years later, Sampson was bested by one Sarina Wiegman and her Euro 2017 hosts (and eventual winners) Netherlands, beaten 3-0 thanks to goals from Vivianne Miedema, Danielle van de Donk and an own goal from Millie Bright.

Then, under Phil Neville, the semi-finals proved to be the limit once more for England as they were once again knocked out by the eventual winners. This time it was the United States with goals from Christen Press and Alex Morgan either side of Ellen White’s equaliser, but there was agony about this defeat too. First, this was a United States side that had shown signs of weakness that a better team and better manager could have beaten – England’s falling here was seen as a bit failure on Neville’s part, taking them backwards rather than forwards. Then, captain Steph Houghton missed a penalty with just over five minutes left to play which would have taken the game to extra-time.

If England can get over their Sweden hoodoo, the confidence will only grow, as will the dreams of football coming home.