Sweden triumphs over Australia to claim third place in FIFA Women's World Cuptext_fields
Brisbane (Australia): Fridolina Rolfo, Sweden's star forward, continued tormenting Australia by scoring one goal and assisting on another as Sweden defeated Australia 2-0 on Saturday to claim third place.
Rolfo scored a penalty goal in the 30th minute, then assisted Kosovare Asllani's goal as Sweden won the third-place play-off.
Rolfo scored twice in the group stage of the 2020 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament and once again in that competition’s semifinal. She was the thorn in the flesh for Australia once again on Saturday.
The victory, sealed by Asllani’s superb second-half strike, maintains the Scandinavians’ remarkable 100 per cent record in four FIFA Women’s World Cup bronze-medal playoffs and earns them a fifth podium finish -– second only to the 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 of the match, 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.
It was 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 clipped the heels of Stina Blackstenius inside the box -- it was identified following a VAR review -- earned Sweden a penalty 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.
With inputs from IANS