Women's World Cup 2011 Third Place Match, France Vs. Sweden: Ten-Woman Blagult Get Bronze With Impressive Win

Sweden and France contest the most fun game in world football, the third place game in a major tournament. Expect very little defense.

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Women's World Cup 2011 Third Place Match, France Vs. Sweden: Final, Marie Hammarstrom Wonder Strike Wins Bronze For Sweden

Sweden's Josefine Oqvist was shown a straight red card in the second half of the third place match of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, but going down to ten women didn't phase the Blagult. They've won the bronze after a win over France by a final score of 2-1, thanks to an absolute wonder strike by Marie Hammarstrom.

The first half was fairly even, but it was Sweden who struck first, with Lotta Schelin scoring an absolutely brilliant placed finish in the 29th minute past Berangere Sapowicz. The French keeper was injured either during that sequence or very close to it, as she was substituted off for Celine Deville due to injury in the 32nd minute. Deville had a poor game, but made no errors that led to goals as France stayed in the match despite their poor goalkeeping.

At the same time, France made a surprise sub, bringing on the speedy Elodie Thomas for Louisa Necib. That odd move turned out to be a great one in the 56th minute, when Thomas scored the equalizer to bring France back in the match. Her speed was a serious danger to Sweden for the entire time she was on the pitch, and it was surprising that she didn't contribute to more than one goal.

It looked like it was going to become France's match to take in the 68th minute, when Oqvist and Sonia Bompastor got into a scuffle. Bompastor started the incident, but Oqvist took the hot-headed action of kicking Bompastor in retaliation for her shove, drawing a straight red card. Because of her antics, the fans in the stands booed Bompastor for the remainder of the game.

Being shorthanded didn't stop Sweden from going forward, with their aggression culminating in Hammarstrom's incredible 82nd minute match winner. Following a set piece, she collected the ball outside of the penalty area and flipped it up over one defender, then made a slick move on the ground to beat another before unleashing an absolute rocket of a shot that almost broke the net. 

Sweden take the bronze medal, marking the third time that they have finished in the top-three in a World Cup.

For all of our coverage of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup semifinals, give our Sweden vs. Japan and USA vs. France StoryStreams a read. For all of our previous coverage of the tournament, check out our 2011 Women's World Cup section. For more on the final, check out our USA vs. Japan StoryStream. We'll have updates there in the build-up to the game. You can catch the final on Sunday at 2:45 P.M. ET on ESPN. We'll have more information on the schedule of events and where to watch as the game approaches.

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Women's World Cup 2011 Third Place Match, France Vs. Sweden: Watch, It'll Be Fun!

Is the third place game at the Women's World Cup - or any tournament for that matter - meaningless? Yes, probably, but that doesn't mean it's not worth watching. With neither team having anything to lose, neither team has any incentive to play negative football. This usually results in some pretty entertaining football. The third place match in the men's 2010 World Cup was arguably the most entertaining match of the tournament, as Germany and Uruguay put on a show in a goal-fest. With the attacking talent that Sweden and France have, the same could happen in this tournament.

Expect Marie-Laure Delie and Lotta Schelin to go crazy. Expect Caroline Seger and Camile Abily to try some Xavi-esque through balls. And expect very little defending.

The game starts at 11 A.M. ET, 5 P.M. local time. If you live in the United States, you can see the game on ESPN2 or ESPN3.com. We'll have coverage in this StoryStream.

For all of our coverage of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup semifinals, give our Sweden vs. Japan and USA vs. France StoryStreams a read. For all of our previous coverage of the tournament, check out our 2011 Women's World Cup section. For more on the final, check out our USA vs. Japan StoryStream. We'll have updates there in the build-up to the game. You can catch the final on Sunday at 2:45 P.M. ET on ESPN. We'll have more information on the schedule of events and where to watch as the game approaches.

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