Blackstenius assists and wins penalty as Sweden take bronze: Gunners Down Under

Co-hosts Australia exit the tournament with consecutive defeats

Blackstenius assists and wins penalty as Sweden take bronze: Gunners Down Under

Stina Blackstenius played an important role as Sweden won their fourth World Cup bronze medal. Credit- Jacques Feeney/Offside

Arsenal’s Stina Blackstenius was heavily involved as Sweden won their fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup Third-place play-off with a 2-0 victory against Australia. 

Blackstenius had a shot saved inside the first minute, driving into the box but faking to find the bottom corner, denied by Mackenzine Arnold.

Approaching the half-hour mark, Frida Rolfo found the crossbar with a header before VAR checked for a foul in the lead up to Rolfo’s chance. Blackstenius had gone down in the box before Asslani delivered the cross, and the referee decided that Hunt had tripped Blackstenius and henceforth pointed to the spot.

Rolfo’s penalty found the bottom corner to give Sweden the lead in the thirtieth minute, with Australia never seeming to rekindle their form from earlier in the tournament.

Caitlin Foord’s most significant involvement was a very nasty clash of heads with Kosovare Asllani just before half time. Both forwards were able to continue, albeit Foord wearing a large head bandage. Foord and Steph Catley played the entire ninety minutes as the Matildas ended the tournament in rather feeble fashion.

After winning the penalty for Sweden’s opener, Blackstenius set up Asllani’s piledriver with a quality assist, driving into the box, turning away from Hunt before putting the ball on a plate for Asllani. An exceptional strike to put Sweden firmly in control of the bronze medal with thirty minutes remaining.

Blackstenius’ World Cup work was done as she was replaced by Arsenal teammate Lina Hurtig shortly after squandering a great chance to make it 3-0. Defender Amanda Ilestedt continued on and will finish the World Cup with four goals to her name ahead of her likely Arsenal debut next month.

Hurtig has made a name for herself as something of an impact sub in this World Cup, scoring the winning penalty in the shootout against the USA in the Round of 16 before assisting Blomqvist against Spain in the semi final. 

The 27-year-old had relatively little attacking to do as Sweden closed out the victory in Brisbane to make it back to back bronze medals.

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