BRISBANE: Sweden picked up their fourth Women’s World Cup bronze medal on Saturday (Aug 19) after goals from Fridolina Rolfo and Kosovare Asllani gave them a 2-0 win over co-hosts Australia in the third-place playoff match at Lang Park in Brisbane.
The Swedes ranked third in the world, were awarded a penalty in the 28th minute after a VAR review showed Australia defender Clare Hunt clipped Stina Blackstenius’ heels, and forward Rolfo slotted home the resulting spot kick.
Sweden captain Asllani doubled their lead just after the hour mark, rifling a sweet strike from the edge of the penalty area beyond goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold following another quick counter-attack.
While disappointed to sign off at the World Cup with another defeat, the Matildas still achieved their best result at the tournament after a stellar run, having never previously gone beyond the quarter-final stage.
“We wanted to bring home a medal for this team, for the fans, for family and friends, for this country,” Australia coach Tony Gustavsson said. “We’re hurt … I’m so sorry we couldn’t give everyone this bronze medal.
“I’m too emotional now to reflect on the whole journey … But when we distance ourselves from this game and look at the whole tournament, I think maybe we won something bigger than a medal, considering how the nation has supported us.”
Both teams were unchanged from the sides that started the semi-finals, where Australia was beaten 3-1 by England and Sweden lost 2-1 to Spain.
England will play against Spain in the final in Sydney on Sunday.