Belgium's Red Flames face Sweden in Women's Euro quarter final on Friday

Belgium's Red Flames face Sweden in Women's Euro quarter final on Friday
Credit: Belga

Belgium's Red Flames come up against Olympic silver medalists Sweden, No. 2 in FIFA rankings, on Friday in the Women's Euro 2022 quarter finals. The match kicks off at 9:00 PM in the city of Leigh, whose stadium can accommodate 12,000 spectators.

The Scandinavians finished top of their group with seven points out of nine, thanks to victories over Switzerland (2-1) and Portugal (5-0, at Leigh) after an opening draw (1-1) against the Netherlands, reigning European champions.

The Swedes had a goal-difference advantage over the Dutch (+6 versus +4) so they face off against Belgium, 19th in the FIFA ranking, in the quarter-final.

Sweden won the first edition of the European women's championship in 1984, then played ten other finals, losing on three occasions: in 1987, 1995 and 2001.

The Netherlands ended their bid for the last Women's Euro, played in 2017, at the quarter final stage.

Sweden is a regular on the podium, finishing 3rd at the 2019 World Cup in France and 2nd at the Tokyo Olympics last year, beaten on penalties in the final by Canada.

With 232 caps, Swedish captain Caroline Seger is the spearhead of her team. At 37, the FC Rosengard midfielder is playing in her 5th Euro, and she is, with 39-year-old Hedvig Lidahl, the most experienced player in the squad of Peter Gerhardsson (62), who has coached the Swedes since 2017.

It has been a long time since Sweden and Belgium last played against each other: their last tussle dates back to 2011.

The winner of Friday's duel will play in the semi-final on July 26 in Sheffield against the winner of the quarter-final match between England and Spain.

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