A lone goal from Dzsenifer Marozsán booked Germany a place in Sunday's UEFA Women's EURO 2013 final, where they will play either Denmark or Norway as they bid to win their sixth successive continental title.
The 1. FFC Frankfurt forward, starting in place of injured club-mate Célia Okoyino da Mbabi, settled a breathless encounter 12 minutes before the break. Sweden gave everything, particularly in the second half, but a combination of stoic Germany defending, wasteful finishing and the woodwork consigned them to a third semi-final defeat in five editions.
A Germany attack which, by their own prolific standards, had hitherto not fired in Sweden might have been blunted by the absence of Okoyino da Mbabi, yet that was far from the case in the opening 45 minutes. Indeed, it was Marozsán who had the first sight of goal. Anja Mittag, embroiled in a physical battle throughout with Nilla Fischer, slid in Simone Laudehr, whose cross was headed wide by Germany's No10.
Silvia Neid's side were far from cowed by the raucous Gamla Ullevi faithful and soon fashioned another opening, Sara Thunebro blocking Annike Krahn's effort on the line. From that clearance, Blågult captain Lotta Schelin outpaced Saskia Bartusiak and clipped an effort across goal.
Still the chances kept coming in a pulsating first period, with Mittag, having seized on an errant Schelin pass, eliciting a near-post stop from Kristin Hammarström before Josefine Öqvist dispossessed Laudehr and fired into the side netting.
A goal seemed inevitable − unfortunately for the majority of the 16,608 crowd, it went the way of the holders. After Laudehr had skewed wide a pass from Mittag, the latter slipped in Marozsán, who withstood the challenge of Charlotte Rohlin to poke a shot into the far corner. Only the reflexes of Hammarström, diving to stop a Laudehr header, prevented another Germany goal before the break.
Germany were not without a few nervous moments of their own, but, time and again, a rearguard that has been breached just once in five games at this tournament got a head or a body in the way of the slew of deliveries which came into their area.
Bartusiak ensured that trend continued after the restart, covering across to prevent Schelin from adding to her finals-leading tally of five goals. When Kosovare Asllani worked space for herself in the box moments later, the Paris Saint-Germain FC striker could not keep her header down.
If the hosts were now making most of the running, Germany gave another reminder of the threat they carried when Marozsán fed Mittag, whose shot was smothered by Hammarström. That was a rare sight of goal for the seven-time champions as the half wore on, however, as the traffic became increasingly one-way.
After seeing a Schelin effort disallowed, the sense that it was not going to be Sweden's night increased when Öqvist rolled a cross-cum-shot against the upright and the unmarked Caroline Seger sliced off target with five minutes remaining.
Player of the match: Saskia Bartusiak (Germany)