Breaking down the FIFA Women's World Cup third-place match
The GIST: Don’t worry, a full preview of Sunday's final between No. 4 England and No. 6 Spain will hit your inbox tomorrow. But before then, No. 3 Sweden and co-host No. 10 Australia will fight to leave this tourney with a W by winning tomorrow’s 4 a.m. ET third-place match.
No. 10 Australia: With more than 11 million (!!!) Australians watching, the Matildas lost a 3–1 heartbreaker to England after uncharacteristic missteps from their rock-solid defense. Prior to that game, Australia hadn’t conceded a goal the entire tournament. Yes, way.
- It’s the first time the co-hosts are battling for third, an impressive feat considering superstar forward Sam Kerr, working her way back from injury, just scored her first goal of the Cup (she scored a whopping five in 2019).
- If the Matildas’ defense returns to form and Kerr and fellow striker Mary Fowler keep grooving, the Matildas could see their best-ever WWC finish made even more special in front of a raucous home crowd.
No. 3 Sweden: Unlike Australia, Sweden has seen this film before. The Blue and Yellow are playing in their fourth third-place match at a WWC. You know what they say about the bridesmaid and the bride? Well, consider Sweden the ultimate Maid of Honor — they’ve won every single WWC third-place game they’ve ever played. Respect.
- Sweden plays a defensive, physical game, and have showcased their depth this WWC, playing with a fluidity that any Ted Lasso fan might recognize. Case in point: center back Amanda Ilestedt is just one goal shy of tying No. 5 Japan’s Hinata Miyazawa for the Golden Boot.
- The crowd will be rooting against the Swedes, but they’ve played spoiler in this tourney before.
Prediction: If you ask the betting gods, Australia is the underdog, but the support of a nation at their backs simply can’t be measured. Our pick? The Matildas come out on top — at the scoreline and in the ratings.