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Rubensson fires Sweden past Denmark

Denmark 1-3 Sweden
Forward Elin Rubensson was in irrepressible form as she scored twice to ensure Sweden reached the final for the first time in three years.

Elin Rubensson is mobbed by her team-mates after giving Sweden the lead
Elin Rubensson is mobbed by her team-mates after giving Sweden the lead ©Sportsfile

Sweden are through to their first UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship final in three years after Elin Rubensson's silky first-half double helped earn Calle Barrling's side victory against Denmark.

The game was six minutes old when Rubensson opened the scoring, the prolific forward then making it five goals in three games with an outstanding free-kick midway through the first half. Denmark did not go down without a fight, and ensured a tense finale when Karoline Smidt Nielsen pulled one back. Stine Pedersen's own goal in added time ended their hopes, however.

Søren Randa-Boldt's side initially enjoyed themselves early on, keeping things consummately simple. That was until a momentary lapse gifted Rubensson possession, the 19-year-old dashing through the middle and sliding the ball past Maria Christensen. It was a finish that oozed class. Stunned but not perturbed, Denmark were centimetres away from restoring parity when Christina Bovbjerg's thumping drive struck a post.

The action switched ends at frantic pace and it played into Sweden's hands. Their devastating counterattacking had already claimed two victims and Denmark were next on their hit list. Jonna Andersson was the latest beneficiary but she poked Pauline Hammarlund's centre wide with the goal at her mercy. Sweden were turning defence into attack with clinical efficiency, the irrepressible Rubensson curling a sumptuous free-kick beyond the outstretched fingers of Christensen for her second.

The onus was on Denmark and they emerged after the interval with renewed vigour. Smidt Nielsen sought to capitalise and forced Jessica Höglander to spill her stinging effort. Evidently unnerved, the goalkeeper dropped Bovbjerg's looping cross moments later and Smidt Nielsen pounced to halve the deficit on 61 minutes. The team in red were a shadow of their former selves and their goalscorer was leading the renaissance, forcing Höglander into successive morale-boosting saves.

Barrling cut an anxious figure on the sidelines as his team retreated into their shell. A moment of respite followed, Malin Diaz linking beautifully with Rubensson before the latter's inviting cross was sliced narrowly wide by the covering Mie Jans. Denmark resumed control and only some desperate defending from captain Amanda Ilestedt denied live wire Camilla Andersen a free run on goal.

Randa-Boldt urged his side forward but his passion proved in vain. Sweden punished their Scandinavian counterparts with a trademark counterattack Therése Boström surged to the byline before picking out the unfortunate Pedersen, who put through her own net and ended her side's memorable tournament journey.

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