Sweden defeated co-hosts Australia by two goals on Saturday to take third place at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The victory means Sweden has collected bronze in back-to-back Women’s World Cup tournaments.

It is also the second consecutive major competition in which Australia finished fourth. The Matildas also ended fourth during the 2020 Olympics in Japan.

Asllani’s wonder strike helps give Sweden bronze medal

The Swedes started the scoring on Saturday with a penalty in the 30th minute. After a lengthy VAR review, officials determined that Australian defender Claire Hunt tripped Stina Blackstenius inside the box.

Fridolina Rolfo stepped up and sent the spot kick into the bottom corner of the net. The ball was only just narrowly out of the reach of a diving Mackenzie Arnold.

After a fairly even first half, Sweden stepped up their attack in the second period. Blackstenius once again played a significant part in her team’s goal.

This time, the forward held the ball deep in Australian territory and squared a perfect pass to Kosovare Asllani. The midfielder then struck a wonderful shot from just outside of the box to double Sweden’s lead and put the game away.

Coach proclaims victory is massive for Swedish fans

After the game, Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson reiterated the importance of the victory. “It was an incredibly important match and the final 10 minutes were really tough,” stated Gerhardsson.

“So when that final whistle went and we had won, there was a great sense of relief and it was a wonderful feeling. It’s great to win a match of this magnitude – there’s been a lot of attention paid to this tournament back in Sweden.”

England will next face Spain on Sunday, August 20th for the 2023 Women’s World Cup title.

The match is set to kick off at 6AM (ET) in Sydney, Australia. No matter which team wins, a new Women’s World Cup winner will be crowned. Neither side has ever collected the trophy at the tournament before.

Photo credit: IMAGO / NurPhoto