Australia’s run at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup ended in a 3-1 quarter-final loss to Sweden in Augsberg on Sunday.Early goals to Therese Sjogran and Lisa Dahlqvist had the Matildas on the ropes, but they went into half-time with confidence after a sublime Ellyse Perry strike five minutes before the break.
But Tom Sermanni’s side could not pull off what would have been a brilliant comeback, as Lotta Schelin’s goal seven minutes into the second half sealed the result.
Australia were lucky not to be behind as early as the sixth minute, when a back pass from Collette McCallum was dealt with clumsily by Perry, but goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri was on hand to avert the danger.
But the Swedes only had to wait another five minutes to take the lead when Schelin charged to the byline and cut the ball back to Sjogran who fired home a right-foot shot from inside the box.
Sjogran turned provider at the 16-minute mark when a pinpoint cross found Dahlqvist unchecked inside the Australian box and the midfielder’s bullet-like header left Barbieri no chance.
Australia went close to scoring a leveller after 38 minutes when a speculative McCallum free-kick almost deceived Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, but it drifted just wide.
The Matildas did claw a goal back though, when Perry collected a McCallum corner outside the box and launched a left-foot strike.
Perry, 20, who also represents Australia in cricket, was understandably delighted as her shot curled past an outstretched Hedvig Lindahl and into the top corner.
After an enterprising start to the second half, Australia fell 3-1 behind after 54 minutes when a calamitous back pass from Kim Carroll succeeded in finding only Schelin, who coolly rounded Barbieri before side-footing into an early net.
Australia continued to battle hard, and Kyah Simon had a good chance to score in the 63rd minute but her header was just wide.
Despite applying considerable pressure midway through the second half, the Matildas were unable to add to Perry’s goal, ending their World Cup dream.
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