Swedes sweep aside Australia to bag bronze

Fridolina Rolfo and Kosovare Asllani were on target as Sweden took their place on the FIFA Women’s World Cup podium once again.

 

 

Sweden 2-0 Australia | Third-place play-off

Goalscorers: Rolfo (30′ pen), Asllani (62′)

Fridolina Rolfo scored one and set up the other as Sweden secured third place with a deserved 2-0 win over Australia.

The victory, sealed by Kosovare Asllani’s superb second-half strike, maintains the Scandinavians’ remarkable 100 per cent record in four FIFA Women’s World Cup™ bronze-medal matches and earns them a fifth podium finish – second only to USA (8).

It also provides a sad end to a memorable campaign for the Matildas, who had been hoping to enhance their best-ever performance at the global finals and finish on a high in Brisbane. The tone, though, was set inside the opening minute when Sweden carved through the leaden-footed Australia defence to set up Stina Blackstenius for a right-foot shot that forced an excellent save from Mackenzie Arnold.

 

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It would prove to be the first of many opportunities for a team that looked fresher and faster throughout, and it was no surprise when the Swedes moved in front on the half-hour mark. Clare Hunt’s clipping of Blackstenius’s heels inside the box was identified following a VAR review and, despite Australia’s best efforts at gamesmanship, Rolfo dispatched a textbook left-foot penalty low and hard into the right-hand corner.

The Matildas did have their moments, and Zecira Musovic was twice called upon to keep out powerful efforts from Hayley Raso and, later, Sam Kerr.

Sweden, though, remained the game’s most potent attacking force, and they made sure of another Women’s World Cup bronze on 62 minutes when Rolfo teed up Asllani for a wonderful first-time shot that flashed low beyond the helpless Arnold.

 

Key stat

Australia must be sick of the sight of Rolfo. The Sweden star has now scored in three successive major tournament matches against the Matildas: two in the group stage of the 2020 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, one in that competition’s semi-final and another tonight.

VISA Player of the Match

Fridolina Rolfo (Sweden)

Just 13% of Daily Fantasy users chose Kosovare Asllani in their squad as she picked up 12 points.

 

Quotes

“It’s a difficult moment to find the right words right now. We’re hurt, we wanted to bring a medal for this team, these fans and this nation. It’s now a second tournament that we played for a medal and missed out. Maybe we won something bigger than a medal though. It’s difficult now but when we distance ourselves I think we won something bigger than a medal.” Tony Gustavsson, Australia coach

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