Sweden, France vie for bronze at World Cup

The bronze medal at the FIFA Women's World Cup is up for grabs when France takes on Sweden Saturday in Sinsheim, Germany (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 11:15 a.m. ET).
French forward Gaetane Thiney, left, is one player Sweden will have to keep close tabs on. (Frank Augstein/Associated Press)

Day 14, Match 31

Sweden vs. France, Third-place match

Date and Location

July 16, Rhein-Neckar-Arena, Sinsheim, Germany

Broadcast details

Live on CBC TV and CBCSports.ca (11:15 a.m. ET). Consult the full broadcast schedule.

What's at stake

The bronze medal. Sweden finished third in 1991 and runners-up in 2003, so a victory Saturday would allow the Scandinavians to add to their medal haul. France bowed out in the first round in 2003, its only previous World Cup appearance, so a win against the Swedes would represent a major milestone for French women's soccer

Setting the stage

How much do these teams care about winning this game after exiting the tournament in the semifinals?

A lot, actually.

France proved to be one of the revelations of this tournament, using a core of players from Olympique Lyon to reach the final four in only its second World Cup. A victory would go a long way to establishing the French as an emerging power, and give that country's women's program a major boost.

France dominated their semifinal match-up with the United States for long stretches of time, before eventually succumbing 3-1. That score flattered the Americans, so look for the French to come out Saturday with a bit of a chip on their shoulders.

Likewise, the Swedes are hungry for success.

A traditional power in the women's game, Sweden exited the 2007 tournament in the first round, leading many to question their credentials ahead of this summer's competition.

A victory over the top-ranked U.S. in the first round silenced the sceptics, but the Swedes fell short of reaching their goal — a second World Cup final appearance — after losing 3-1 to Japan in the semifinals.

Player to watch for Sweden

Lisa Dahlkvist — The Swedish midfielder leads her team in scoring with three goals at this tournament, including the decisive goal in a 3-1 win over Australia in the quarter-finals.

Player to watch for France

Louisa Necib — The elegant and technically gifted French midfielder has been a revelation at this competition, her sublime distribution and brilliant playmaking skills dazzling fans and opponents alike.

The Swedish perspective

"We want to do be able to do our dance again after the final whistle, to celebrate being the third-best team in the world. Like everyone else in the team, I want to win this match," defender Charlotte Rohlin told FIFA.com.

The French perspective

"We managed to keep possession and impose our game on the Americans, so we're very disappointed that we didn't make it to the final. But we're going to fight for third place. There's one match left, and we're going to win it," goalkeeper Berangere Sapowicz told FIFA.com.

World Cup head-to-head

France and Sweden have met 16 times at senior level in international play, with the Swedes winning 10 times and drawing twice. Sweden and France have never met at the World Cup.