As Australia goalkeeper and captain Melissa Barbieri said after her sides last match, “Football can be a funny game sometimes.” When the draw was made for Germany 2011 many thought that the Group C winners would be USA with Norway runners-up to Brazil in Group D. However, three wins out of three for Sweden, which included USA’s first defeat in the group stages of a FIFA World Cup, combined with a dramatic win for the Matildas over the Eli Landsem’s side ensured a meeting in Augsburg on Sunday.
Sweden - Australia, Sunday 10 July, Augsburg, 13.00 CET (local time)
By the time kick-off comes around on Sunday afternoon, the two teams will know who lies in wait for them in Wednesday’s semi-final in Frankfurt. The victors of the Germany-Japan match will certainly be taking a close interest in this game too. While the losers will be going straight home, the winners will be staying for two more games with one being a final or a match for third place.
Sweden go into the game with a 100 per cent record, matched only by Germany and Brazil. The Blagult topped the group for the first time in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Meanwhile, the Aussies have quarter-finals for the second successive time, gaining one more point in the group stage than they did four years ago.
In meetings between the two sides, history favours the Swedes with the Scandinavians winning five to Australia’s one. The teams have also met in this competition before, back in 1999 with Sweden winning 3-1.
It is also the fourth and final game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to be played in Augsburg, with Thomas Dennerby’s side returning to the venue after they defeated Korea DPR 1-0 on Saturday 2 July.
7 – It’s been almost seven years since Sweden and Australia last met. Their last game was also a quarter-final match, at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Athens. Once again, the Swedes emerged triumphant, winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Hanna Ljungberg and Sara Larsson. Lisa De Vanna scored the consolation for the Matildas.
"We've watched their games and now we have to get together and find a strategy against that team. It's not going to be easy,” Thomas Dennerby, Sweden coach.
"When you look at the squad there's an enormous amount of flexibility and depth. In a sense it makes it a lot more difficult but in another it's an advantage.I would think it would make it impossible for the opposition to figure out what we're going to do because often we ourselves don't know what we're going to do until the last minute," Tom Sermanni, Australia coach.