Arsenal's Australian stars edged out by Sweden in Olympic semi-final


Caitlin Foord of Arsenal - Credit: PA

Arsenal's Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord started as Australia lost out 1-0 to Sweden in the Olympic Semi-finals on Monday. 

Lydia Williams was named on the bench at the Yokohama Stadium. 

Sweden had the first effort on target as Stina Blackstenius tried her luck from just outside the box but it was weak and directed into the hands of Teagan Micah in the Australian goal on 15 minutes.

The Swedes were looking the more dangerous side in attack and they came inches away from the opener when Fridolina Rolfö tried her luck from just outside the box but the ball crashed off the crossbar and bounced away to safety. 

On 37 minutes Australia had their first real moment of danger after a frustrating opening when last seasons Women's Super League top goalscorer Sam Kerr skipped around Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl but her cut back was stabbed away by Nathalie Björn. 

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Lindahl was then forced into another save a few moments later as Alanna Kennedy whipped a free-kick over the wall but the former Chelsea keeper was equal to it tipping it over the crossbar. 

On 42 minutes Australia did have the ball in the net as Catley swung in a free-kick for Kerr who slotted her effort into the net but it was ruled out for a foul on Caroline Seger. 

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It was the Aussies who had the final opportunity of the first half when Tameka Yallop cut inside before sending her shot over the crossbar. 

Sweden however took the lead one minute into the second half when a shot was deflected onto the bar before falling for Rolfö who turned the ball back across Micah in goal and into the bottom corner of the net. 

Kerr was then gifted a huge opportunity to equalise as Ellie Carpenter swung in a pinpoint cross for Kerr who got her head to the ball but directed it right into the hands of Lindahl. 

Mary Fowler who came on in the 69th minute had almost found an equaliser as she was played in but from a tight angle she drilled her shot wide of the target. 

Australia were playing some fine football but struggled against a well organised Swedish side to create chances but Catley did have a big moment when she met a cross at the back-post but fizzed her effort across goal and wide. 

The Matildas ended the game down to ten as Carpenter pulled down Lina Hurtig who was in one on one denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. 

It wasn't to be for Australia who will now play USA for the Bronze medal while Sweden take on Canada for Gold. 

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