Stina Blackstenius had a goal ruled out for offside before being denied by a fine Nicky Evrard save, and it looked as though the quarter-final was heading for extra time when Sembrant struck from inside the six-yard box.
While Belgium’s players looked shattered at the final whistle, Sweden celebrated wildly in front of their jubilant fans in the 7,517 crowd.
On this evidence, however, Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses will not be too concerned about what awaits them next week. While Sweden scored five in their previous game against Portugal, they spurned chance after chance before eventually edging through.
The expectation before kick-off was that the Swedes would join Wiegman’s side in Sheffield, but they made hard work of seeing off a Belgium side appearing in the quarter-finals for the first time.
Sweden started on the front foot against a team 17 places below them in the world rankings.
Manchester City’s Filippa Angeldahl twice went close in the early stages before Blackstenius produced a composed finish after being sent clean through.
Her celebrations, however, were cut short after a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) check ruled she had strayed narrowly offside.
It was not all one-way traffic. Justine Vanhaevermaet, scorer of Belgium’s first goal at Euro 2022, went close with a fierce attempt before Sweden eventually got the job done.
‘It is hard for us’
This was hard to take for Belgium, who were watched by Belgium men’s boss Roberto Martinez.
But the team ranked 19th in the world will take satisfaction from making Sweden work so hard for their victory.
Their players looked close to tears at the end but there are positives for the future.
“At this moment it is hard for us,” said Belgium boss Ives Serneels. “We must be proud that we were here to play this wonderful game against Sweden.
“It must give us a lot of experience for the future. Now the players know what can happen when you work hard for something.”
Player of the match
with an average of 6.62
Squad number20Player nameBennison
Squad number9Player nameAsllani
Squad number3Player nameSembrant
Squad number6Player nameEriksson
Squad number1Player nameLindahl
Squad number19Player nameRytting Kaneryd
Squad number16Player nameAngeldahl
Squad number5Player nameNildén
Squad number13Player nameIlestedt
Squad number14Player nameBjörn
Squad number11Player nameBlackstenius
Squad number18Player nameRolfö
Squad number23Player nameMissipo
Squad number1Player nameEvrard
Squad number13Player nameDhont
Squad number10Player nameVanhaevermaet
Squad number2Player namePhiltjens
Squad number9Player nameWullaert
Squad number6Player nameDe Caigny
Squad number16Player nameMinnaert
Squad number20Player nameBiesmans
Squad number11Player nameCayman
Squad number18Player nameDe Neve
Squad number19Player nameKees
Squad number22Player nameDeloose
16AngeldahlSubstituted forBennisonat 84′minutes
22DelooseSubstituted forDhontat 67′minutes
2PhiltjensBooked at 36mins
20BiesmansBooked at 16minsSubstituted forMissipoat 88′minutes
Match ends, Sweden 1, Belgium Women 0.
Second Half ends, Sweden 1, Belgium Women 0.
Goal! Sweden 1, Belgium Women 0. Linda Sembrant (Sweden) right footed shot from very close range to the high centre of the goal following a corner.
Attempt blocked. Nathalie Björn (Sweden) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Corner, Sweden. Conceded by Justine Vanhaevermaet.
Attempt missed. Kosovare Asllani (Sweden) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Nathalie Björn.
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