Sweden v Australia: Women’s World Cup 2023 third-place playoff – live updates | Women’s World Cup 2023

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If Gustavsson fails Stateside, he could always find work fronting a Deacon Blue tribute act.

Are the curtains about to fall on Tony Gustavsson’s Australian odyssey?

Speaking of Gustavsson, tonight may be the last time we see his curtains contained by an Australian cap. The USWNT are reportedly interested in him filling the biggest managerial job in women’s football.

For the final time this tournament our man with the Matildas, Kieran Pender, sets the scene for what in Sweden is known superbly as the bronsmatch.

Tony Gustavsson foreshadowed he will stick with his regular starting line-up for the game at Suncorp Stadium. There have been growing calls for the coach to deploy his squad depth, with the Matildas making the least use of substitutes of all teams at the World Cup. Asked whether the likes of young stars Charlotte Grant or Clare Wheeler might be given an opportunity against Sweden, the Swede hinted that he would not be ringing the changes.

Australia XI

The same bunch of Matildas that came so close against England are as follows:

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Alanna Kennedy remains absent with concussion symptoms.

Sweden XI

Undermining the suggestion that the third-place playoff is an opportunity to share the love among the two squads, neither coach has made a change to their starting XI. That means Sweden look like this:

Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of Sweden v Australia from Lang Park in Brisbane. Kick-off in this Women’s World Cup third-place play-off is 6pm AEST/9am BST.

This is match 63 of 64 this World Cup, and the least important of the lot. So let’s enjoy ourselves.

For the next few hours we can put the stress and anxiety of tomorrow aside and reflect on a magical month that has proved transformative here in Australia and continued the upward trajectory of women’s football globally.

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Let’s celebrate Thembi Kgatlana’s injury-time winner for South Africa, and Linda Caicedo’s brilliance for Colombia. Let’s reflect on the record attendances and viewing figures, and the refreshing new voices in the media. Let’s consider the end of an era for the USWNT and the start of hopefully a new generation in international women’s football with the gap between the best and the rest narrower and more geographically diverse than ever before.

Together we can manipulate the peak-end rule to our advantage and sign off from this month on a high.

One more night to get lucky.


Jonathan Howcroft

Jonathan Howcroft

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Chin up.

Let’s enjoy our final World Cup Saturday night together.

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