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WWC: Sweden Take Third Place To Spoil Australia’s Party

Sweden spoiled Australia’s celebration and secured third place at the Women’s World Cup by defeating them 2-0 in Brisbane on Saturday. In front of nearly 50,000 spectators, Sweden took the lead with a penalty from Fridolina Rolfo in the 30th minute and extended their lead with a powerful strike by Kosovare Asllani just after the hour mark. Ranked third globally, this marks the fourth time Sweden has finished in third place at the tournament.

Sweden deserved their victory as they dominated the midfield and effectively contained Australia’s star striker, Sam Kerr. On the other hand, Australia’s Mary Fowler had a challenging night struggling against the size and strength of the Swedish defenders.

In contrast, Sweden’s striker Stina Blackstenius caused problems for the Australian defense during her 63 minutes on the field and played a role in both goals. The Swedes began the match with greater determination than the Matildas and controlled much of the first half.

Playing with a similar style to England in their 3-1 semi-final win over the Matildas, Sweden slowed down the game’s pace and maintained midfield control. Australia mostly posed a threat during transitions, often struggling to maintain possession.

Sweden had an early opportunity to take the lead within the first 60 seconds when Blackstenius shot low across the goal, but Australian goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold made an excellent save. The Matildas’ first shot came in the 24th minute, a Hayley Raso drive that was well saved by Sweden’s keeper, Zecira Musovic.

Sweden took the lead minutes later when VAR determined that Clare Hunt had fouled Blackstenius after another dangerous run into the box by the Swedish striker. Australian coach Tony Gustavsson made an attacking change at the 60-minute mark, bringing on Emily van Egmond and Cortnee Vine, but Sweden continued to dominate.

Sweden further silenced the sell-out crowd when Blackstenius set up Asllani for a powerful strike past diving Arnold. Both players were substituted shortly after.

In the last 20 minutes, Australia attempted to breach the Swedish defense with deep crosses into the box, but Musovic had a relatively trouble-free night, securing a clean sheet.

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