Sweden move on to face Canada for the gold medal. Australia will take on USA for bronze.
Red card! Australia (Carpenter 90+5)
Late late late counterattack from Sweden. Hurtig hurtling towards goal. Carpenter drags her back. Clear red card. One of Australia’s best out of the bronze medal match.
90+3 mins: Brilliant run from Rolfö to get to the byline, she draws Micah to her, the goal is open – and Blackstenius shanks wide! That was the sealer on a plate!
90+2 mins: Sweden have the ball where they want it, deep in Australian territory.
89 mins: Poor turnover from Sweden invites Catley to burst forward, but she is knackered, and her attempt to feed Kerr falls well short. Jakobsson then dribbles the other way, EvE concedes a foul, and Sweden can wind down the clock in a dangerous position.
88 mins: Time running out for Australia. The ball in from the right finds nobody. Then the one from the left is only to blue shirts. It’s unsophisticated right now from the Aussies.
87 mins: The game is stretched now, but Sweden can’t take advantage of a three-on-three near Australia’s box. The Matildas respond in a flash, Cooney-Cross hoisting another long diagonal into the penalty area for Kerr to contest. The skipper causes havoc but the ball lands Sweden’s way and Gielnik can’t feed on the scraps.
86 mins: Sweden enjoy a rare moment in attack, but they don’t seem to know whether to stick or twist and Australia smuggle the turnover and break. Sweden deal with it and Jakobsson is soon in space down the right ready to delivery towards the penalty spot, only for the magnificent Carpenter to execute another brilliant last ditch block.
84 mins: … or Kennedy. But the big centre-half miscues high wide and not very handsome.
83 mins: Cooney-Cross to Fowler; the youngster steps inside one with a glorious first touch, around another, and she’s down. Fowler really catches the eye. This is a shooting chance for Catley, 25 metres out.
81 mins: Fowler again, this time flicking on for Raso down the right. Her cross fizzes across the six-yard line but Kerr is not on the end of it. Australia not giving up without a fight.
80 mins: Australia find Kerr with space to run and she drives to the edge of the box but loses her footing and Sweden clear. Fowler has made a difference since coming on.
79 mins: Lovely roll from Foord in the No 9 shirt, turning a wall pass into a run on goal, but the optimistic hit from range is weak.
78 mins: this time Catley’s delivery finds Kerr on the run at the near post but she can’t keep the header down and Sweden can take their time to clear.
77 mins: Lindahl has done just enough all night to a series of corners swung in her direction, getting just enough of a fist to clear to the edge of the box. They can’t retain possession though and Australia continue to dominate territory, Catley hustling for yet another corner.
76 mins: Sweden are struggling to clear their lines at the moment and the fourth or fifth poor turnover results in an Australian corner after another dangerous angled ball into the box is flicked behind. Sweden living dangerously.
75 mins: Sweden cough up possession in their own half, but Australia are slow in possession until the long diagonal ball lands at Catley’s feet just inside the box, and her left-footed rasper is palmed behind by Lindahl at her near post. Excellent driving contact from the Arsenal star.
72 mins: Sweden should do better. Rolfo was steaming down the left waiting for the pass into her stride from Blackstenius a la Carlos Alberto to Pele in 1970 – but the pass is poor and Carpenter makes a brilliant block.
Down the other end Fowler is very busy on the ball to engineer half a yard and whip a snapshot that scoots wide.
69 mins: Polkinghorne, Cooney-Cross, and Fowler all come on for Australia in a triple substitution. Yallop, Simon, and Logarzo make way.
68 mins: Sweden are structured very very well, dropping to deny Kerr space in behind but then pushing up when the ball is with Australia’s back three. They still look edgy dealing with crosses though, and another fine delivery from Yallop almost works in Raso’s favour. That approach certainly looks like Australia’s best route to goal, if they can only find enough possession and territory.
67 mins: Errors creeping into both teams as the heat, humidity and fatigue takes its toll. Asllani had a great chance to run at Australia’s defence but she can’t control Jakobsson’s pass.
66 mins: That doesn’t mean they can’t spring forward quickly, but not for the first time tonight Jakobsson fails to take the right option on the edge of the box.
65 mins: Australia get a grip on possession after a spell chasing the game, but Sweden are designed for game situations like this and are quick to adopt a low block with bodies behind the ball.
62 mins: Australia deal with the set piece, but again Logarzo is robbed in possession coming out of the back third. Angeldal tries to catch Micah off her line from 30m out, but her effort is off target. The Matildas are looking a tad unsteady.
62 mins: Another corner to Sweden following a tired exit from defence, Logarzo this time at fault. Might be time for Gustavsson to dip into his bench.
61 mins: Foord caught in possession and Sweden earn a corner. It’s a dangerous delivery but there’s a whistle for a Blackstenius block on Micah.
59 mins: A soft free-kick against Yallop changes the momentum and Sweden enjoy a sustained spell of pressure. Jakobsson can’t capitalise though, nor can Asllani and the move evaporates.
57 mins: Raso v Rolfö on Australia’s right has been the duel of the night and the Matilda flyer did well again to set up a crossing opportunity for Kerr to get on the end of, but she doesn’t make great connection. The pressure continues though and Sweden only just get a block in to a Van Egmond drive from the edge of the box, then a Yallop cross from the left. Better from Australia. Sweden don’t look assured when the Matildas up the tempo in the final third.
55 mins: Sweden are back on the ball like they were in that middle third of the opening half, passing the ball nicely between the lines. Australia are again restricted to long balls to the isolated Kerr.
52 mins: Sweden get clear down the right but Jakobsson’s cross is weak and Australia escape. Kennedy then feeds Yallop down the left who picks out Kerr in the box, but a corner is soon overturned with an offside flag. The Matildas need to retain their composure with this series of setbacks.
50 mins: A break in play while Lindahl has her right hand attended to. Chance for Australia to regroup. Gustavsson is up and clapping, urging his side on.
48 mins: Hugely disappointing for Australia. Dreadful luck for Micah who ended up stranded by the deflected shot, the atrocious bounce, the ricochet off the bar in Sweden’s favour… a horror few seconds from the Matildas.
Do they have it in them to fight back?
GOAL! Australia 0-1 Sweden (Rolfö 46)
What on earth happened there? A deflected shot from outside the box spun wickedly off the wet turf forcing Micah to backpedal and tip onto the bar. Australia’s defence couldn’t clear and Rolfö was the fox in the box to hook home very adroitly.
46 mins: Here we go, two teams 45 minutes away from a guaranteed medal…
The teams are back out for the second half. Can Australia maintain their momentum? Can Sweden reestablish their control in midfield? Can someone – anyone – win this in 90 minutes to prevent a midnight finish?
Here’s my half-time Olympic rev-up tune. Turn it up loud.
Adam Kline-Schoder has joined in over the email, and he deserves a half-time analyst’s bonus.
“Although this match has thus far been a bit of a slow burner, it is still intriguing because of the moments of individual quality on display. Rolfö’s and Kennedy’s efforts were lovely, and Kerr’s finish on the volley… well, taking a looping ball over the shoulder and redirecting it past a goalkeeper of Lindahl’s quality takes some doing, even if it was pulled back for a (as you say, slightly questionable) foul.
I think Australia gained their dominance towards the end of the half by putting one and sometimes two more players in the midfield; Sweden outnumbered them in the middle earlier on and that tactical tweak by the Matildas has worked a treat. That said, Sweden are still plenty dangerous on the break, so the Australians would be wise not to push too many women too high too quickly and create chasms between the lines.
Here’s hoping said slow burner catches fire properly in the second half! Enjoy the match.”
Great stuff, thanks Adam.
Half-time: Australia 0-0 Sweden
A frenetic opening 15 minutes, followed by a quarter of an hour minutes of Swedish dominance, ending with one sixth of the game on Australia’s terms. A very entertaining goalless half of football.
45+3 mins: Australia still pushing for the opener. Foord shows great strength to work a half-yard but she can’t find Kerr with the through-ball. The pressure is unrelenting though and Raso is busy on the right to earn a corner. Catley’s delivery is typically excellent and Lindahl can only manage a weak punch as far as Yallop on the edge of the box – and she connects with a half-volley thunderbastard! But it flies over the bar.
45 mins: Australia do not want the half-time whistle. Superb switch from Van Egmond opens play down the left. The ball in from Yallop to Kerr is dangerous and the flick from the striker is only fractionally off target. Sweden are rocking.
43 mins: Another cross – this time from a Catley free-kick on the right – and Kerr finishes on the volley first time! But, oh. The referee’s whistle trilled just as Kerr pulled the trigger. She had spotted an interference off the ball in the melee of bodies near the penalty spot. That will be a major talking point at half-time.
42 mins: Repeat corners for Australia with Kennedy and Kerr’s movement causing havoc in the Sweden defence. A third cross follows, and the Swedes look rattled. The Matildas are ramping up the pressure as the rain begins to tumble in Yokohama.
40 mins: OOOOOOOhhhhhh! Kennedy goes for goal – right-footed, over the wall, curling away from Lindahl – and the Sweden keeper is forced into a smart save to tip the shot over. Excellent strike.
40 mins: More excellent hard work to recycle a second ball near Sweden’s box is backed up by some neat passing to allow Simon a half-turn that ends in a trip. Free-kick to Australia from 22 metres out…
38 mins: Kerr does so much hard running, and yet another thankless sprint into the channel almost pays dividends. The Chelsea striker gets to the ball ahead of Lindahl, but she’s pushed out near the corner flag so is unable to fashion a shooting opportunity. The ball infield is intercepted. Australia have really grown in the last ten minutes or so.
36 mins: Australia have enjoyed territorial advantage for the past five or so minutes now, but Sweden look very dangerous when they get the ball down and play. Blackstenius again carries the ball deep into the Matildas’ defence, but can’t find an end product.
“As if their football was good enough to admire them – another first for Sweden – using recyclable cups for their water break rather than the usual dozens of plastic bottles.” Thanks for the email Charles Antaki.
34 mins: Raso has some rare space wide on the right and after some neat interplay she sends a cross over that Sweden don’t deal with effectively. The second ball is recycled well down the right before heading infield where nobody wants to take responsibility for the shot or killer pass. Eventually another cross comes in, this time from the left, and the moment passes.
32 mins: Another stoppage, this time for Ilestedt, who crumpled in a heap under pressure from Kerr who was contesting a hopeful ball into the channel. After a bit of treatment the No 13 is back on her feet.