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Sweden defeat Australia to finish third place at the World Cup for a FOURTH time

BRISBANE — Sweden picked up their fourth Women's World Cup bronze medal on Saturday after goals from Fridolina Rolfo and Kosovare Asllani gave them a 2-0 win over co-hosts Australia in the third-place playoff match at Lang Park in Brisbane.

The Swedes, ranked third in the world, were awarded a penalty in the 28th minute after a VAR review showed Australia defender Clare Hunt clipped Stina Blackstenius' heels, and forward Rolfo slotted home the resulting spot kick.

Sweden captain Asllani doubled their lead just after the hour mark, rifling a sweet strike from the edge of the penalty area beyond goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold following another quick counterattack.

While disappointed to sign off at the World Cup with another defeat, the Matildas still achieved their best result at the tournament after a stellar run, having never previously gone beyond the quarterfinal stage.

"We wanted to bring home a medal for this team, for the fans, for family and friends, for this country," Australia coach Tony Gustavsson said. "We're hurt ... I'm so sorry we couldn't give everyone this bronze medal.

"I'm too emotional now to reflect on the whole journey ... But when we distance ourselves from this game and look at the whole tournament, I think maybe we won something bigger than a medal, considering how the nation has supported us."

Embed from Getty Images

Both teams were unchanged from the sides that started the semifinals, where Australia were beaten 3-1 by England and Sweden lost 2-1 to Spain.

Australia pushed forward in numbers but looked out of energy and ideas while captain and star striker Kerr, who picked up a knock late in the match, was kept relatively quiet by Sweden as they closed out the game comfortably.

"I think we showed from the first minute that we were the better team. We deserve this medal," Rolfo said.

"I hope that this tournament can raise the standard for players in Australia and also that clubs get better and more professional. I think this tournament has been great for Australia in general."

England play Spain in the final in Sydney on Sunday.

Sweden vs Australia highlights

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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