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Upset in Brisbane sees Sweden secure 3rd place at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Sweden secure bronze and end their 2023 Women’s World Cup campaign on a high, following a 2-0 victory over hosts Australia. An early penalty from Rolfo gave them the edge, followed by an impressive strike from distance by Asllani.



Australia wanting to end on a high, looked to begin on the front foot in front of their roaring home crowd, with the aim to put things right after the heartbreak of their disappointing semi-final, but it was Sweden with the early chances of the games. Straight from the go Blackstenius broke through Australia’s backline to force Arnold into making a reaching save, where Carpenter scrambled to clear.


The swedes looked a threat from the start, by maintaining control of the game and looking an organised, confident side. They looked promising and played a number of intelligent balls into Stina Blackstenius, who was able to get into difficult spaces past the Australian defence. Anytime Australia edged their way into Sweden’s defensive third, the Swedes were able to force them back quickly, in the early stages of the game.


The Matildas grew into the game in a matter of time, intentful play with that bronze medal in mind. With several positive breaks, they were impressive at getting the ball into higher areas and looked lively as they moved the ball around the attacking third. Feeding into wide spaces and getting bodies into the box, Australia were able to force Musovic into making a couple of comfortable saves.


The game turned to VAR, after a clumsy contact by Hunt saw Blackstenius go to ground in the box. The check for the penalty created nerve in the Aussie filled stadium, as it was Sweden with the opportunity to lead, 26 minutes in. And that they did, stepping up to take the penalty Rolfo, with a left footed strike, fired the ball into the bottom right corner, just out of reach of the hands of Mackenzie Arnold.



Having grown into a remarkably competitive game, the first half saw end to end battles and chances; chasing the lead imposed a sense of urgency into the Matildas, with Australia all to play for in front of their thunderous support.


Australia’s best chance of the half came from Haley Raso on the receiving end of a pinpoint cross from Carpenter. At the near post Raso launched a shot, which forced Musovic to push the ball wide.


The closing moments of the half consisted of chances at both ends of the pitch. Cooney-Cross tried her luck from distance as she picked up the ball and fired a powerful shot from outside of the box, which caused Musovic some trouble as she struggled to handle this.


However the game returned immediately down the opposite end of the pitch, as Sweden came threatening from a set piece. An impressive delivery from Asllani sees a shot fired across goal in which Arnold made an impressive save to prevent Sweden from extending their lead before the half.


The second half began with Sweden continuing to put pressure on the Australian defence, as they look to cause upset and extend their lead further. Being able to get into tricky spaces and advance up the pitch quickly, they extended their lead promptly and in an spectacular manner.


A sharp counterattack began with Asllani starting the movement driving from deep midfield. She timed a perfectly weighted pass onto Blackstenius who advanced down the left-wing and squared the ball onto the edge of the box, where Asllani found the back of the net with a stunning strike from range. The Swedish captain making it 2-0.


The Matildas, not giving up yet, were able to congest Sweden’s defensive areas, pushing forward in an attempt to get themselves back into this game. Throughout the half, the side had several positive spells, the best attempt on target came from Polkinghorne who did well in a difficult position in a crowded area, to force Musovic into making a save. Having worked well together to liven up their presence in this game, they held hope throughout the half.


Unfortunately, Australia were just not clinical enough to take advantage of their opportunities, with the chances they created being tidied up by Sweden’s tight defence or comfortably handled by Musovic. Sweden were able to hit Australia on the counter, which we have seen from them already this tournament, and that was the difference today. 2-0 at full-time earns Sweden the bronze medal at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.







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