- Sweden beat England in Match for Third Place in Nice
- Action-packed match illuminated by excellent Jakobsson and Kirby goals
- Reaction and more: #ENGSWE Live Blog
Sweden have finished third at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ after beating England 2-1 in Nice.
All three goals came in an open, incident-packed and error-strewn first half, with early efforts from Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson putting the Swedes in control before Fran Kirby struck back. The quality of the Jakobsson and Kirby goals in particular thrilled the sun-drenched supporters in the Stade de Nice, with less to cheer in a subdued second period.
England dominated the closing stages but were unable to break through, with Nilla Fischer securing victory – and bronze medals – for the Swedes with a dramatic goal-line clearance as the clock ticked down.
Team Reporter analysis
England finish their World Cup adventure with back-to-back defeats, and that will sting for some time. But the Lionesses could not be accused of a lack of effort, having ploughed deep into Sweden’s half in the second half and pressed until the very end. It just wasn’t to be their day, and Nilla Fischer’s amazing goal-line clearance from Lucy Bronze’s thunderbolt seemed to sum that up. Desperation eventually got the better of Phil Neville’s side, this after three earlier minutes of wonder saw England hit the net twice – until VAR intervened, ultimately killing off Ellen White’s dream of the Golden Boot. Karen Carney’s final appearance as a second-half substitute gave England added impetus, but they just couldn’t find a way through.
After going 2-0 up in the early stages, it looked like this might be a comfortable march to bronze for Swedes. In the end, it was nothing but. England pulled themselves back into the match and with Fridolina Rolfö forced to leave the pitch injured and Kosovare Asllani replaced with a knock at half-time, Sweden lost momentum and control. The second half became a fight against the clock, and a battle to not concede again. Peter Gerhardsson used his third substitution to create a five-player defence in a bid to stop England piercing them with through balls, and it worked. On Wednesday, the Swedish players cried with sadness; tonight, the tears came again – but the emotions were happiness, relief and pride. They came here ranked ninth in the world and are going home with bronze medals.