Matildas v Sweden Ultimate Guide

The Matildas may have fallen to defeat in the semi-finals – but their World Cup journey isn’t done yet.

The third-place playoff awaits for both Australia and Sweden, to decide which of the two nations from the final four will finish third at the tournament.

The challenge for the Matildas is to pick themselves up after the disappointment of Wednesday night’s 3-1 loss to England in the semi-finals; the team’s motto for the tournament is: “‘Til it’s done”, and there is still one more chapter to write in Australia’s World Cup story.


Australia v Sweden
 Saturday, August 19
Venue: Brisbane Stadium
Kick-Off: 6 PM (AEST)
Broadcast: Optus Sport and Channel 7 


Saturday night’s game between Australia and Sweden kicks off at 6pm AEST and will be available live and free on Network Seven and 7 Play, and available to stream for Optus Sport subscribers.


There are no available tickets to purchase – but FIFA resale Platform for tickets is your place to go to check for any already-purchased tickets put back on the market.


Fridolina Rolfö

The FC Barcelona striker is yet to hit full stride at the World Cup, having scored just two group stage goals and going goalless through the Round of 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals – but Friodlina Rolfö is one of the best strikers in the world, and will be looking to end her World Cup campaign with a bang.

Rolfö bagged Sweden’s first goal of the tournament in a 2-1 win over South Africa on July 23, and when she bagged her second in as many games in a 5-0 rout of Italy it seemed the 29-year-old would feature prominently in the tournament’s Golden Boot conversation.

She scored from the spot in the Round of 16 shootout to help Sweden eliminate USA – but that’s where the goals dried up for the Barcelona star.

Fridolina Rolfö.

Amanda Ilestedt

Sweden’s towering central defender has been an attacking beacon throughout the World Cup, scoring four goals up to the semi-finals in what is a remarkable output for a defender.

If Sweden had managed to get past Spain in the semis to make their way into the World Cup final, the Arsenal centre-half would have been firmly in the discussion for Player of the Tournament – but not all is lost for Ilestedt, who sits just one goal behind Hinata Miyazawa on the Golden Boot charts and can still push for the title of leading goalscorer at the World Cup against Australia on Saturday night.

Watch out for Ilestedt from set pieces as she looks to punish the Matildas from set pieces in Brisbane.

Ilestedt celebrates quarter-final victory over Japan.


Zećira Mušović v Sam Kerr

The Swedish goalkeeper wrote headlines in the Round of 16 for one of the individual performances of the tournament, making 11 saves in regular time before guiding her side through a penalty shootout win over World No.1 United States.

On her day, Mušović is an immovable force in goal for the Swedes; club teammate of Sam Kerr at Chelsea, the Matildas captain will need to be on her best form to get anything past the Swedish ‘keeper when the two nations collide on Saturday night.

Fortunately for Australia, Kerr is coming off the back of a semi-final in which she produced one of the great goals of the World Cup. The nation was begging to see their star player have her moment at the major tournament on home soil – and against England, Kerr delivered in spades with a long bomb dispatched off the back of a marauding run forward that brought the Matildas level at 1-1.

Kerr had a pair of huge chances in the aftermath of her scorching strike, and will be kicking herself that she couldn’t make either count. Saturday night’s clash with Sweden provides her the opportunity to fill her boots before the end of the World Cup – but standing in her path is Mušović, who would love nothing more than to keep her Chelsea teammate off the scoresheet.


Matildas 4-0 Sweden: November 2022

The last time these two nations met, the Matildas put on a performance that acted as a springboard for Gustavsson’s side to leap toward the World Cup.

Australia put four goals past the then-World No.2 in a mauling at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. Caitlin Foord was the star with two goals, and Kerr and Mary Fowler both hit the scoresheet in a day to remember for the 22,000 fans in attendance.

The Matildas’ form was on an upward trajectory at that stage after an overall disappointing 2022 which began with a quarter-final exit at the Asian Cup and ended with a roll of sensational form defined by the 4-0 trouncing of one of the powerhouse nations in the world.

Tokyo Olympics: Bragging rights to Sweden over two meetings

Sweden 4-2 Australia: Group stage, July 2021

Australia met Sweden on two occasions at the Tokyo Olympics – the first meeting came in the group stage of the tournament, with a brace from Fridolina Rolfö inspiring the Swedes to a 4-2 win. Sam Kerr scored a goal on either side of half-time to put Australia 2-1 ahead before Rolfö, Lina Hurtig and Stina Blackstenius bagged one second-half goal apiece to secure victory for the European nation.

Sweden 1-0 Australia: Semi-finals, August 2021

Australia met Sweden yet again in the knockouts, but for the second time in the tournament fell to defeat. This time a solitary goal from Rolfö at the start of the second half was enough to separate the two sides as Sweden progressed to the gold medal match.


The Matildas will be going hell for leather in pursuit of a win at Brisbane Stadium on Saturday night – but along with the opportunity to finish third at the World Cup comes the opportunity to give minutes to the players currently uncapped at the tournament.

As it stands, Gustavsson has used 17 of his 23 players across six games at the World Cup. The six players still awaiting a maiden appearance at the tournament are:

  • Lydia Williams
  • Teagan Micah
  • Clare Wheeler
  • Courtney Nevin
  • Kyah Simon
  • Aivi Luik
Courtney Nevin (left) and Lydia Williams (right) with Mary Fowler after defeat to England.


Will we see Kyah Simon on the pitch before the World Cup is over?

That’s the question heading into the third-place playoff, as the veteran Matildas striker heads into Australia’s final game of the tournament without a minute to her name. Simon was selected for the 23-player squad despite not playing a minute since October 2022 due to an ACL injury suffered while playing for Tottenham Hotspur in England at club level.

There was immense heat on head coach Tony Gustavsson early in the tournament for selecting Simon as Kerr was struck down with a calf injury; Mary Fowler’s concussion before taking on Nigeria left the Matildas with a lack of attacking depth, and a 3-2 defeat led to fear of a group stage exit in which Simon’s unavailability for Australia’s early fixtures would have become one of the major criticisms of Gustavsson’s decision-making at the tournament.

Ultimately the Matildas made the semi-finals without Simon playing a single minute. The tremendous success of the tournament rendered any genuine criticism of Simon’s selection irrelevant. But Matildas fans will be hoping to see Simon play at least some part in the third-place playoff; Gustavsson has previously hinted at Simon playing a role in a shootout or as a late substitute and we could see her make her tournament bow if the game proceeds to additional extra time.

Gustavsson will also hope to have central defender Alanna Kennedy back among the matchday squad after her surprise withdrawal from the squad for Wednesday’s semi-final due to illness.

Kyah Simon (right) with Sam Kerr after defeat to England.