Matildas to be full strength for FIFA Women’s World Cup third place play-off against Sweden

Matildas to be full strength for FIFA Women’s World Cup third place play-off against Sweden

Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson won’t be handing out jerseys in the Women’s World Cup third-placed play-off against Sweden.

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The value of the penultimate game is often debated but the Matildas players, and their coach, have made it clear they’re set on victory at Brisbane Stadium on Saturday.

Whether that involves the Swede resting any of his weary starters, who looked all out of legs in Wednesday’s 3-1 semifinal loss to England, is yet to be seen.


Gustavsson deployed 16 of his 20 outfield players — but Tameka Yallop, Alex Chidiac and Charli Grant were barely used, while Cortnee Vine’s minutes decreased as the tournament progressed.

Midfielder Clare Wheeler, full-back Courtney Nevin, defender Aivi Luik and the contentiously selected Kyah Simon (knee), haven’t played a minute, nor have back-up goalkeepers Teagan Micah and Lydia Williams.

Wheeler, Nevin and Micah are yet to make their World Cup debuts.

Alex Chidiac and Aivi Luik sit on the bench

Players like Aivi Luik (left) and Alex Chidiac have barely had a look in at this World Cup.(Getty Images: FIFA/Alex Pantling)


Alanna Kennedy will miss the match with concussion, but clearly there won’t be any minutes handed out for the sake of it.

“If it was emotionally, those players would play because they deserve to play,” Gustavsson told reporters.

“But I can’t pick based on emotions.

“This is a third-place game. We’re playing for a medal. I’m going to make sure we have a line-up that is the strongest starting line-up we can have but also the strongest finishing line-up.

“It’s not about giving players experience just for the sake of giving experience. This is a game to win.”


But winning could require Gustavsson turning to his bench.

Matildas great Elise Kellond-Knight, currently sidelined with a ruptured Achilles, hoped that would be the case.

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