England and Sweden played today one of the last games of this World Cup tournament: The 3rd place match. Sadly, both teams played this game as they couldn’t reach their dream this year, after losing to the USA and The Netherlands in the semifinals respectively, and who’ll be playing this Sunday, 7th July, the Women’s World Cup final.
Anyways, England, who had done superbly in all matches so far, showing a great display and superiority, lost 2 back-to-back games for the first time in its history (1-2), making the English girls exit the World Cup door by the back door.
A game that was completely dominated by the Swedish side, who could have been in the final now if it wasn’t for Groenen’s killer goal that gave the Dutch the ticket to the final instead of them. But, how did all this happened? Especially after the Lionesses gave a great fight against the world’s best team? How? Let me tell you what happened, ok?
The first match between both European sides in a Women’s World Cup was a nice show to watch (if you’re not from England of course). It seemed England was the favorite for the game, but, no one knows this little fact: Sweden has lost only 2 previous games against them of their last 17 games in all competitions (11 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses).
However, this was going to be different. It turned out it wasn’t to be different to the rest at all. England started in bad shape, especially after having lost against the USA and not having on their team a great player like Millie Brighton, who was shown a red card on her previous game. On the other hand, Sweden was superb in defense and, of course, in the attack as well: Just 11 minutes in, Kosovare Asllani gave the lead to her team after England’s defense created the perfect assist for its rival. A great cross into the box by Rolfo what’s clear by Alex Greenwood with precision… To the opposition! Asllani just needed to make a quick touch before hitting the post and scoring the goal, which completely beat a very surprised Telford. GOOOAAALLL! 1-0!
But, the nightmare wasn’t over… THERE’S STILL MORE!? NOOOOOO!
Sweden kept pressing England, who, for some reason, was lacking the strength shown in the early stages of the tournament. On the 16th minute, Swedish striker Jakobsson had a very nice to put the 2-0 on the scoreline and to completely seal a match England wasn’t giving its 100%. A long pass over the top caught the English women completely defend less and Jakobsson found herself one-on-one with Telford, however, and thank God she did, she nicely stopped the ball. Wait… What? That afterward the ball went into the post and then she almost scores an own goal with her back? That’s confidential information, ok?
What? That didn’t matter because they score the 2nd just a few minutes after and everyone knows about it? You may be right after all. Let’s continue!
After missing such a great chance, Sofia Jakobsson this time completely finished the play and scored the 2nd goal for Sweden. England was already 0-2 behind after just 22 minutes against Sweden, the earliest they’ve even been two goals down in a Women’s World Cup match. Jakobsson played a beautiful one-two with her companion Blackstenius and she drifted perfectly to the edge of the box, putting a low curled ball that passed through Houghton and Telford into the back of the net. GOOOAAALLL! 2-0!
The match was already sealed, but England, who have a strong pride, persisted on turning the score around and, in the end, win the game. The idea was good, and the dream of that hypothetical comeback came on the 31st minute from the foot of Fran Kirby (My favorite Nintendo character), who scored the first (and last) goal of the encounter for the Lionesses. She shot so powerfully, even Lindahl didn’t move from her line… That was epic!
However, the chances kept accumulating for both teams from that point until the end of the match. In the end, Sweden were the victors and the ones who got the bronze medal after beating England 2-1. Clearly, they were superior and they knew how to capitalize on England’s slow start. It’s true that White got a goal canceled again (Hi. It’s me, VAR) and Bronze had a great chance in the final minutes of the game… But, what does it matter now? (VAR clearly stands for Video American Refereeing. They’re against us! Clearly! C-L-E-A-R-L-Y!) That’s football, ladies and gentleman. That’s football to you all.