England Women 1 Sweden Women 2
Phil Neville stressed he was “not disrespecting anyone” as he sought to explain why he branded the Women’s World Cup third-place play-off that England lost to Sweden “a nonsense game”.
The Lionesses missed out on bronze after being beaten 2-1 at Nice’s Allianz Riviera, where Sweden raced into a 2-0 lead through goals from Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson.
England replied through Fran Kirby just after the half-hour mark and thought they had equalised two minutes later, only for Ellen White’s finish to be ruled out for handball following a VAR review.
Lucy Bronze had a late strike cleared off the line as England failed to match their third-placed finish at Canada 2015.
After the game, boss Neville said: “Well done Sweden, but it is a nonsense game.
“We came to this tournament to win it, not to finish fourth.”
Later, Neville added: “Throughout my life, winning is all that matters, not finishing fourth, third or second, and my players feel exactly the same way as me on this matter.”