England face weight of history in semi-final clash with Sweden

England Face Weight Of History In Semi-Final Clash With Sweden England Face Weight Of History In Semi-Final Clash With Sweden
The Lionesses, like their counterparts in the men’s team, have won only two out of seven major semi-finals. © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Tom White, PA Sport Data Journalist

England will look to improve on their record in major tournament semi-finals when they face Sweden on Tuesday at Euro 2022.

Here, the PA news agency looks back over England’s history at this stage.

England Women

Alyssa Naeher, left, saves Steph Houghton’s penalty (Richard Sellers/PA)

The Lionesses have exited the last three major tournaments at the semi-final stage, the 2015 and 2019 World Cups and Euro 2017.

Their overall record has seen them win two out of seven semi-finals, going on to finish runners-up at Euro 1984 and 2009.

Euro 1984

As a reminder of how far women’s football has come, the 1984 tournament was not granted official status and was played 35 minutes each way with a size four ball. England won their two-legged semi-final against Denmark 3-1 on aggregate and drew 1-1 on aggregate in the final against Sweden before losing 4-3 on penalties.

Euro 1987

Sweden were again England’s conquerors three years later, 3-2 after extra-time thanks to Gunilla Axen’s second goal of the match. There was no consolation to be found in the third place play-off, where Italy overcame Kerry Davis’ early penalty to win 2-1.


Euro 1995

England are into a sixth European Championship semi-final, with two wins (PA graphic)

With the two-legged format restored, England faced a mountain to climb after losing their first leg 4-1 to Germany. The eventual champions completed a 6-2 aggregate win despite early goals from Karen Farley in both games.

Euro 2009

After a 14-year wait, the Lionesses were back in last-four action and edged out the Netherlands 2-1 as Jill Scott’s extra-time winner added to Kelly Smith’s opener. However, they were hammered 6-2 by Germany in the final.

World Cup 2015

Aya Miyama and Fara Williams traded penalties before Laura Bassett’s unfortunate late own goal sent Japan through to the final. Another Williams spot-kick earned third place via a 1-0 extra-time win over Germany.

Euro 2017

Millie Bright’s own goal rounded off England’s Euro 2017 exit (Mike Egerton/PA)

Millie Bright’s late own goal capped a 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands, who went on to win the title on home soil under Sarina Wiegman’s management in a more favourable omen for this year’s England side.

World Cup 2019

Ellen White scored but had another disallowed and Steph Houghton missed a penalty as England were beaten 2-1 by eventual champions the United States. They lost the third place play-off 2-1 to Sweden, with Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson on target before Fran Kirby replied.

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