The final group match for Australia and Sweden brought just over 10,000 fans to Commonwealth Stadium where a win or draw would assure the Matildas a spot in the Round of 16 and with Sweden needing the three points to guarantee progression.

It didn’t take long for the action to take off with light rain forcing the TWG media gang to relocate to a dry zone, managing to settle just in time to see the Matildas score.

Laura Alleway’s penetrating bomb threw the ball forward to a running Lisa De Vanna. De Vanna was able to get behind the defence and slot the ball into the net in just the fifth minute of the game.

Sweden and Pia Sundhage were justifiably stunned.

For the Matildas there was no time to rest on their laurels with Sweden earning their first corner in the eighth minute.

Set pieces were a pre match concern for the Matildas but Sweden’s first effort was easily cleared.

Sweden’s positioning worked in their favour as they started to win the 50/50 contests but their disposal wasn’t clean and Australia were able to pick off their passes.

A dangerous pass from Cailtin Foord and an untimely slip from Player of the Match Elise Kellond-Knight turned the ball over with Sweden’s Sofia Jakobsson capitalising with a perfect strike, levelling the scores at 1-1 in the 15th minute.

Sweden’s second corner of the match was almost finished with a stunning header from Amanda Ilestedt but it just glanced wide of the left post.

From that moment the game seemed more balanced with the midfields of both teams playing tight, allowing little space to manoeuvre the ball.

In a disciplined first half, both teams pressured through the midfield, forcing errors and turnovers.

The Matildas slightly edged Sweden out on possession stats with 52% to 48% but it was a different story for shots and corners with Sweden clearly looking stronger closer to goal.

During the second half, Lotta Schelin displayed some urgency, working hard on and off the ball whilst Sweden’s discipline and structure were constantly on display with their clear lines across the pitch.

There were few real chances for either team as the minutes ticked on, but Sweden tallied six corners to Australia’s one.

That statistic that would be cause for concern considering Sweden’s strength in short corners and set pieces, but the Matildas were up to the task.

Strong clearances and defensive work from the defensive line of Caitlin Foord, Alleway, Alanna Kennedy, Steph Catley and keeper Lydia Williams who all looked virtually impenetrable in goals.

The match was coming to a close with a few tense moments for the Matildas as they defended corners in the 80th and 88th minutes, but Sweden were unable to exploit their chances.

By the end of the match, the scoreboard was still level at 1-1 putting the Matildas through to the Round of 16, lining up a match against Brazil in Moncton.

The team were elated with the result but the mood amongst the Swedish team was one of devastation.

Kellond-Knight summed up the match perfectly.

“To break them down we knew we needed to play a patient brand of football. It was really hard to break down.”