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GERMANY, SWEDEN REACHES UEFA WOMEN CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER FINAL

Germany took a step closer to a seventh consecutive European Championship title as they beat Russia 2-0 to reach the quarter-finals of Women’s Euro 2017.

The holders progress as Group B winners and will face Group A runners-up Denmark in the last eight.

Sweden took second spot behind the Germans despite losing 3-2 to already eliminated Italy in Doetinchem.

Spirited Italy led three times in a five-goal thriller, dashing Sweden’s hopes of taking top spot.

The Swedes- ranked ninth in the Fifa world rankings- will face hosts the Netherlands in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Sweden, who held Germany to a goalless draw in their opening game and were top on goal difference before Tuesday’s matches, fell behind to Daniela Sabatino’s neat finish.

Lotta Schelin quickly levelled from the penalty spot for the Olympic silver medallists, but Brescia forward Sabatino’s placed volley restored the Italians’ lead before the break.

Soon after half-time, Stina Blackstenius turned in substitute Fridolina Rolfo’s right-wing cross to equalise, and Sweden pushed for a winner.

But Blackstenius hit the post with a close-range header and Italy punished that miss, with Cristiana Girelli’s far-post finish earning their first points of the competition.

Holders through again

Topping the group means eight-time winners Germany avoid the in-form hosts- one of only two sides with a 100% record- in the next round.

The holders were much improved in Utrecht on Tuesday and could have won by a far greater margin, but Mandy Islacker’s early low finish was correctly ruled out for offside.

Wolfsburg’s Babett Peter soon had them in front from the spot after a bizarre off-the-ball foul from Maria Dakarenko on Islacker.

Russia keeper Tatyana Scherback kept the scoreline close with several fine first-half saves, before Anja Mittag twice fired wide in the second half after Dzsenifer Marozsan’s calm penalty.

Sweden will meet the hosts in Doetinchem at 16:00GMT on Saturday, before Germany face Denmark at 18:45GMT in Rotterdam later that night.

Credit: BBC Sports

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