Spain’s footballers are in the semi-finals of a World Cup for the first time after beating the Netherlands 2-1 (1-1, 0-0) after extra time. Salma Paralluelo scored the decisive goal in the second half of extra time in Wellington with a precise shot into the far corner (111th minute). Maria Caldentey had previously given Spain the lead in New Zealand with a converted penalty kick in the 81st minute. Captain Stefanie van de Gragt, who conceded the penalty against the Netherlands, made it 1-1 ten minutes later. Opponents in the semifinals are either the favored Japanese or the Swedes.

Spain was the dominant team for long stretches of the game, but were also very lucky in some scenes, such as a penalty taken back when the score was 0-0 in the second half. Referee Stephanie Frappart looked at the scene on the monitor after a tip from the VAR team around Tatiana Guzman (Nicaragua) and Germany’s Marco Fritz and surprisingly canceled her penalty kick in the 62nd minute. Lineth Beerensteyn was bumped into by Irene Paredes after a through ball.

In the 17th minute, a double chance gave Spain the first really good opportunity to take the lead. Alba Redondo’s header deflected Daphne van Domselaar into the post in the Netherlands’ goal, and the follow-up shot from close range was also stopped by the post.

The supposed lead for Spain after 37 minutes by Esther Redondo was not counted by Frappart from France because of a narrow offside position. The next good chance came right after the break, but it was the penalty late in the second half that made the lead possible.