The third place match between Sweden and Australia was played at Brisbane Arena, Brisbane/Meaanjin on Saturday, August 19, 2023, with the host losing to Sweden 0-2.
Fridolina Rolfo and Kosovare Asllani were on track as the Scandinavians had their spot on the FIFA Women’s World Cup platform once again.
Fridolina Rolfo scored one and set up the other as Sweden secured third spot with a merited 2-0 win over Australia.
The win, fixed by Kosovare Asllani’s wonderful second half strike, keeps up with the Scandinavians’ surprising 100% record in four FIFA Women’s World Cup™ bronze medal matches and procures them a fifth platform finish – second just to USA with (8).
It also gives a miserable end to a noteworthy campaign for the Matildas of Australia, who had been wanting to improve their best-ever performance at the global finals and finish on a high in Brisbane.
It all began inside the first minute when Sweden cut through the heavy footed Australia defender to set up Stina Blackstenius for a right-foot shot that constrained a great save from Mackenzie Arnold.
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 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.
Meanwhile, Fridolina Rolfo was named the VISA Player of the Match. The Sweden star has now scored in three progressive significant competition matches against the Matildas: two in the group stages of the 2020 Women’s Olympic Football Competition, one in that competition’s semifinal and another in this world cup.
Just 13% of Daily Fantasy users chose Kosovare Asllani in their squad as she picked up 12 points.
Regardless of the loss, Australia’s coach Tony Gustavsson said they won something bigger than a medal in the tournament.
“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.”