Australia has lost 1-0 to Sweden in the Olympic semi-final and will now play the U.S.A on Thursday for a bronze medal. For all your Tokyo 2020 coverage, stay tuned to The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.
Australia began with a defensive setup. Stephanie Catley, Ellie Carpenter, and Alanna Kennedy sat deep and made caution their first priority.
Sam Kerr started despite an injury concern and Sweden named an unchanged lineup from their quarter-final win over japan.
Both sides were slow to warm into the contest, a hopeful strike from Kosovare Asllani was matched by Teagan Micah. For Australia, Kennedy tried her best to score from near halfway but skewed her effort harmlessly wide.
It was a safety-first approach by The Matildas. In the group stage loss, they were torn apart on the wings and Tony Gustavsson set his team up to prevent a recurrence.
It did not stop Fridolina Rolfo though. The Barcelona winger drifted inside and shifted onto her left. Her effort cannoned off the crossbar in a lucky escape for the Aussies.
It would not be a Matildas match without Hayley Raso risking her safety. In the 30th minute, she had her hand stepped on in a contest with Rolfo. She looked in pain but as tradition dictates she was ok to continue.
In a positive spell for Australia, Alanna Kennedy hit a free-kick that almost snuck in and Kerr had a goal disallowed after the referee spotted something nobody else did.
Kerr and Yallop both had chances as the half came to a close. It was an even contest but Australia was in the ascendancy when the whistle blew.
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Sweden took a lucky lead when Angeldal’s strike bounced chaotically in the box. Fridolina Rolfo was on hand to turn it into the goal to dent Australian enthusiasm.
Australia tried to answer with an attacking surge, Kerr got her head to a Carpenter cross. It was straight at the goalkeeper. Yallop’s attempt in the next play might have scored against a lesser player than Lindahl.
The Swedish keeper was called into action again when Steph Catley found time and space in the box. She took a touch and settled but her shot was directed straight at Lindahl.
The introduction of Fowler and Cooney-Cross brought some spark into the lineup. Fowler was quick to get a shot away that whizzed wide but the Matildas were still playing with the initiative.
Cooney-Cross sent in a long ball that Kerr leapt to meet. She connected well but it went over the bar.
Australia played the match out bravely and aggressively. in the end they were beaten by a lucky goal and had one of their own disallowed by an almost imaginative referee.
The Matildas now play The U.S.A on Thursday to determine the bronze medallist.
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