As it happenedended1562437196

England vs Sweden result: Lionesses fall to Sweden in Women's World Cup third place play-off

Phil Neville's side ended their French adventure empty handed

Callum Rice-Coates
Saturday 06 July 2019 18:09
England fans react to ups and downs as Lionesses knocked out of World Cup in semi-final

England missed out on a third-placed finish at the Women's World Cup as they were beaten 2-1 by Sweden in their play-off in Nice.

Sweden raced into a 2-0 lead at the Allianz Riviera, with Kosovare Asllani firing in in the 11th minute after an Alex Greenwood error and Sofia Jakobsson adding a fine strike in the 22nd. Phil Neville's Lionesses replied through Fran Kirby's left-footed effort just after the half-hour mark and two minutes later the ball was in the Swedes' net again courtesy of an Ellen White finish.

But, just had been the case in the 2-1 semi-final loss to the United States four days earlier, White had what she had thought was an equaliser disallowed following a VAR review.

Please allow a moment for the live blog to load.


Good afternoon and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of England vs Sweden in the Women's World Cup third place play-off.

Steph Houghton had an 84th-minute penalty saved as the Lionesses missed out on a place in the final, with the USA triumphing in an emotionally-charged semi-final on Tuesday.

Both teams will be desperate to end their tournaments on a high with a bronze medal up for grabs today.

We'll have all the latest updates for you from Nice.

Ben Burrows6 July 2019 15:08

Team News

Callum Rice-Coates6 July 2019 15:13

After more semi-final heartbreak for England, this afternoon's third-place playoff is an opportunity to end a largely successful tournament on a high note. Victory over Sweden in Nice would, at least, take some of the edge off last week's narrow defeat against the USA.

England and Sweden have never met at a World Cup, so this promises to be an interesting encounter. Both teams have caught the eye throughout the tournament, and neither will be taking this match lightly.

There is still the matter, too, of the golden boot for England's Ellen White. She's on five goals, one behind Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.

Callum Rice-Coates6 July 2019 15:28


Phil Neville makes four changes, then, to the side that lost in the semi-final. Abbie McManus steps into defence in place of the suspended Millie Bright. Jade Moore and Fran Kirby are handed starts in midfield, too.

Sweden have also made a couple of changes: Fridolina Rolfo and Fridolina Rolfo come into the side, while top-scorer Kosovare Asllani is fit to start

Callum Rice-Coates6 July 2019 15:38

England boss Phil Neville has made his feelings clear ahead of this afternoon's game. The drive to win, he says, remains strong in this team despite defeat to the USA:

We want to go away with something to show for the hard work. I want to be on my sun lounger next week, happy that we've finished a tournament well and not finish on two defeats.

We've had a lot of people telling us about inspiring. But I think the real inspiration is winning gold.

We'll continue to strive for that. We've been soul searching about what it takes to win. The players have realised we need to kick on.

We're all sick of losing in semi-finals, we're all sick of people applauding us for finishing third or fourth. That's not being disrespectful; that's the truth and it hurts."

Callum Rice-Coates6 July 2019 15:43

This will be Karen Carney's 144th and final cap in an England shirt. Her teammates will, no doubt, be hoping to give her a fitting send off.

Callum Rice-Coates6 July 2019 15:52

It's another scorcher in southern France today. The temperature is at 28C, but it's expected to feel more like 38C on the pitch. Fitness could again play a big part in the outcome of the game.

Callum Rice-Coates6 July 2019 15:55

Both teams have sung their respective national anthems for the last time at this tournament and we're almost ready to get underway!

Callum Rice-Coates6 July 2019 15:59

England, all in white, kick off and immediately surge forward. There's already a feeling that this could be an open and exciting encounter.

Callum Rice-Coates6 July 2019 16:02

England 0-0 Sweden

3 minutes

Sweden create the first real opening of the game, Jakobsson played in behind down the right and seeing her drilled cross deflected over the bar for a corner. The set piece is dealt with comfortably and England break quickly, but Kirby's drilled ball into the box is held by Sweden goalkeeper Lindahl.

Callum Rice-Coates6 July 2019 16:05

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