Matildas Lose Bronze Medal Game to Sweden 2-0

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
22/08/2023
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Matildas Lose Out on World Cup Bronze to Sweden

The Matildas fell just short of a World Cup podium finish as they were defeated 2-0 by Sweden in their Bronze medal clash. 

News Insights

  • Matildas tournament ends on a sour note.
  • Best Australian finish ever at a World Cup.
  • Matilda’s were able to rally the country behind them.
  • $200M pledged to women’s sports in Australia.

The Matildas fell to Sweden 2-0 in the World Cup’s bronze medal match on Saturday night in Brisbane. Their lack of substitutions throughout the tournament seemed to have caught up to them as Sweden dominated the match. Nonetheless, these Australian women should be extremely proud of their accomplishments at their home World Cup. 

A Look at the Disappointing 2-0 Loss 

Heading into Saturday’s Bronze medal matchup with Sweden there was loads of optimism surrounding the Matildas chances of taking the win and a podium finish. 

Immediately after kickoff it was evident that this was not the case and the Matildas would be in for a long night. 

Sweden dominated possession early and penetrated the Aussie’s backline with relative ease. Matilda’s keeper Mackenzie Arnold was forced to make a tough save less than a minute in as StinaBlackstenius had a clean crack at goal from 12 yards out. 

The first 15 minutes were all Sweden as the Matildas were unable to dispossess the Scandinavians and get anything of their own going. Though, after the initial onslaught subsided, the scoreline still read 0-0. 

The Australians seemed to settle in after a rough opening 15 minutes and had a couple chances of their own. The best was off the foot of Hayley Raso as Ellie Carpenter sent a long cross to her past the back post and she tried to whip the ball in the near top corner, but Swedish keeper ZeciraMusovic was equal to the task. 

Any momentum the Matildas had gained in a short ten-minute span however was nullified when Clare Hunt needlessly clipped Blackstenius’s heel in the Aussies box in the 26th minute. 

After a VAR review, a penalty was awarded and FridolinaRolfo made no mistake from the spot perfectly placing the ball in the bottom right corner past the outstretched arms of Mackenzie Arnold. 

The match got a bit scrappy after that with multiple altercations between players of the opposing sides. 

As the second half began it was again Sweden on the front foot as the Matildas were struggling to connect passes out of their defensive third. 

The Swedes got their insurance marker in the 62nd minute. Mary Fowler was dispossessed in the attacking third and Sweden immediately jumped on the counterattack. Asllani sprung Blackstenius down the left side of the 18-yard-box and she turned the ball back, sending a return pass to Asllani at the top of the box who blasted a shot into the back of the net.  

The Matildas tried to fight back from 2-0 down but it just wasn’t their day as the hosts had to settle for fourth. 

Still Much to be Proud of for the Matildas

Though they didn’t produce their best football in the bronze medal match, the tournament was still a smashing success for the Aussies. 

Not only is fourth place the best finish for an Australian football team in World Cup history, the Matildas inspired the nation to rally behind them and set multiple stadium attendance records in the process. 

Australian PM Anthony Albanese even pledged $200M to women’s sports across the country. He cited the Matildas directly as a reason for this funding saying “They have given us a moment of national inspiration; this is about seizing that opportunity for the next generation, investing in community sporting facilities for women and girls around Australia.

So, although a fourth-place finish is not what this team or country had pictured when heading into the match, on a grand scale, their World Cup was still a massive success, and will have an impact on the country for years to come. 

The Matildas were unable to claim the bronze medal at their home world cup as they fell 2-0 to Sweden on Saturday night. The result was disappointing, but in the big picture, the tournament that the Matilda’s had was a resounding success, on and off the pitch.