MATILDAS PLAYER RATINGS: See who starred and who struggled in the World Cup third-place playoff against Sweden
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The Matildas have lost their battle against Sweden for third place honours in their home World Cup – but they didn’t lose any admirers as they turned in a brave performance in Brisbane.
Skipper Sam Kerr and her team now finish their home tournament as the fourth-best side on the planet – easily the best result for any Aussie football team, men’s or women’s, in the World Cup.
Here’s how Daily Mail Australia rated every star who took to the field for Australia…
MACKENZIE ARNOLD: 7
Called on early with Sweden handed a contentious penalty stroke in the first half. Despite reading the direction, she was unable to deny the Swedes in a crucial moment. Called into action soon after to deny Kosovare Asllani. Was brilliant in denying Asllani again late in the half with a sharp diving stop to her left. There was little she could do to stop the second and divisive goal as her defenders let her down.
ELLIE CARPENTER: 5
Had the crowd roaring early in the second half with a cross that only just sailed wide of the waiting Sam Kerr. Lifted her passing game from the England match. Guilty of not getting behind the ball when it counted in the second half as the Swedes claimed control.
Clare Hunt of Australia fouls Stina Blackstenius of Sweden, giving Sweden a penalty after VAR review
CLARE HUNT: 5
Can consider herself very unlucky to surrender a penalty for the softest of contact on Stina Blackstenius in the first half after a controversial VAR review. It was a game of rocks and diamonds for Hunt, who has shown enough potential to be a long-standing Matilda but also that she still has work to do to become a world class defender.
CLARE POLKINGHORNE: 4
The veteran defender had a scary moment late in the first half with a questionable pass but the Swedes were not able to cash in, to the relief of the Matildas. Could only watch Asllani drill home the decisive goal as she failed to get behind the ball in a crucial moment. Had a chance to score right in front but cannoned it straight inthe Swedish goalkeeper. A disappointing way to potentially bow out for a long-standing warrior for the Matildas.
STEPH CATLEY: 7
Was enormous in support in the first half but could not find the elusive connection to get the Matildas first goal. Did very well with a perfectly timed tackle that stopped the score blowing out in the second half. Showed her experience but lacked support at times.
Caitlin Foord was bashed from pillar to post and kept getting up and asking for more in a brave performance that included a heavy collision, a concussion test and plenty of bandages
If Kyra Cooney-Cross was an emerging star, she is emerging no more. She played a starring role even while her team was defeated
HAYLEY RASO: 7
Had a chance to put the Aussies on the board first as the Matildas were relentless in the attacking third but was denied by the Swedish ‘keeper. Came off at the 60th minute after an exhausting and physical stint.
KATRINA GORRY: 6
Was issued a yellow card late in the first half for a tackle that smacked of frustration, giving the Swedes a late free kick which came dangerously close to being a goal. That frustration boiled over when she came together with Asllani for some pushing and shoving after more rough play from the Swedish star. Was subbed off at the 60th minute mark as coach went for fresh legs.
KYRA COONEY-CROSS: 8
Beat everyone except the goalkeeper to almost sneak through a long-range attempt in the shadows of halftime. Toiled ferociously in the midfield against highly skilled and well-drilled Swedish opponents. Threatened with corners, sharp passing and vision that defies her young years. Arguably the best Aussie on the field. Aged just 21, she is the future of the Matildas.
CAITLIN FOORD: 7.5
Niggle went to a whole lot more when Foord collided heavily with Asllani late in the first half which required a concussion test. Was able to return for the second half with her head draped in bandages and kept getting bludgeoned by the Swedish players and getting up for more. A typically tough performance that unfortunately netted little reward.
Kerr had precious few chances but still came perilously close to scoring for Australia before suffering a late injury scare
SAM KERR: 6.5
After banging home a rocket of a goal against England, Kerr transitioned to a provider role in the first half and it nearly set Hayley Raso up for the go-ahead goal. Had an opportunity after the penalty stroke but couldn’t quite control the pass. Desperately unlucky to be denied with a rocket at the left post shortly afterward. Send shockwaves through the hearts of fans when she appeared to go down injured, but was able to play out the game.
MARY FOWLER: 6.5
Came up with some of Australia’s best chances in the early exchanges floating off the dangerous Sam Kerr and hunting for opportunities. Struggled to get a touch in the second half as the Swedish star dominated possession and stole the game away from the Aussies.
EMILY VAN EGMOND: 5
Could not provide the necessary spark the Matildas needed, but was not afforded much time to do so. Had one legitimate chance and shanked it wide, but it would not have impacted the result.
CORTNEE VINE: 5
Like van Egmond, was given precious little time to save the match for Australia and was given little chance with Sweden dominating possession. Many fans were left puzzled why she was not given more opportunity against both England and Sweden.
ALEXANDRA CHIDIAC 5
Received a loud cheers from the crowd for getting an opportunity in the defensive line in the final 20 minutes and the former Melbourne City star did little wrong in her cameo.
COURTNEY NEVIN 5
The Leicester City star got some valuable minutes and has to be commended for not allowing the Swedes to breach their defence again while she was stationed at fullback.