England had to settle for fourth place at the Women’s World Cup after a frustrating loss to Sweden in an eventful third-place play-off.
A sloppy start in Nice ultimately saw the Lionesses miss out on bronze, four years after winning a medal at the competition for the first time.
Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson’s goals saw Sweden take full advantage of a disjointed first-half England display, before Fran Kirby’s well-taken strike put Phil Neville’s side back in the game.
The Lionesses then saw an Ellen White equaliser ruled out for handball after a pitchside video review by the referee, before having the better of the second half, but they could not prevent Sweden securing a top-three finish for a fourth time.
The 2003 runners-up, who were beaten by the Netherlands on Wednesday, were grateful to defender Nilla Fischer in the latter stages for her superb headed block on the line to keep out Lucy Bronze’s goalbound effort.
For England, who lost to the holders the United States in a gripping semi-final on Tuesday, a fourth-place finish represents their second-best Women’s World Cup, after they were third in Canada four years ago.
Defending Champions United States of America (USA) will trade tackle with the orange ladies of Netherlands in the final match on Sunday July 7, 2019.
*By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde*