Blackstenius Assists in Sweden’s Third-Place Finish

Stina Blackstenius played a crucial role in Sweden’s victory over Australia in the Women’s World Cup third-place play-off, providing an assist that contributed to their 2-0 win.

Blackstenius secured her seventh consecutive start for the Swedish team, partnering with centre-back Amanda Ilestedt, as they aimed to rebound from their disappointing semi-final loss to Spain.

Their triumph against the co-hosts in Brisbane marked Sweden’s second consecutive third-place finish in the World Cup, having previously defeated England 2-1 in the 2015 play-off.

Despite having one day less to recover from their semi-final defeat to England, Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord took the field at Suncorp Stadium with a determined effort to conclude an outstanding tournament on a high note.

Blackstenius made her presence felt early on, forcing a solid save from West Ham’s Mackenzie Arnold. Her threat in the penalty area proved pivotal in breaking the deadlock, as she was fouled by Claire Hunt, leading to a penalty kick that was converted by Fridolina Rolfo in the 30th minute. From that point onward, Sweden maintained their lead securely.

In the second half, Blackstenius showcased her skills again by holding up the ball in the area and delivering a precise pass to Kosovare Asllani, who expertly slotted the ball past Arnold to extend Sweden’s lead.

Subsequent substitutions, including Lina Hurtig coming on for goalscorer Asllani in the 67th minute, ensured that Sweden’s two-goal lead remained intact.

Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord’s participation in their seventh full game for the Matildas ensured that both players played every available minute of this year’s competition.

The focus now shifts to the final in Sydney, where Alessia Russo and Lotte Wubben-Moy’s England side will face Spain, vying for a spot in football history.

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In the World Cup final on Sunday, our Lionesses faced a 1-0 defeat against Spain.

Despite a valiant effort by Sarina Wiegman’s team until the very last minute, they were unable to break through Spain’s resilient defense.

Alessia Russo, who had already netted three goals in the tournament, earned a starting position, while Lotte Wubben-Moy was among the substitutes.

The initial major chance of the game came from Lauren Hemp, whose curling attempt hit the crossbar. However, Spain managed to take the lead, with Olga Carmona scoring after a run down the left wing, placing the ball beyond the reach of Mary Earps and into the bottom corner.

Trailing at halftime, Sarina Wiegman made a significant decision, replacing both Russo and Rachel Daly with Chloe Kelly and Lauren James.

Spain had the opportunity to double their lead when Keira Walsh was penalized for a handball inside the penalty area. Nevertheless, Mary Earps stepped up and made an extraordinary save to deny Jenni Hermoso.

England continued to press forward in search of an equalizer, causing trouble for Spain with several dangerous counter-attacks. However, they were unable to create one final chance to take the game into extra time.

At Arsenal, we hold tremendous pride in the representation and performances of Lotte and Alessia throughout this tournament.

If you’re eager to witness our World Cup stars in action when they return to North London, you can now purchase tickets for our WSL opener against Liverpool at Emirates Stadium.

By- Sahiba Suri

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