England Women’s boss Phil Neville cannot disguise feelings after World Cup third-place play-off defeat by Sweden

Head coach Phil Neville talks tactics with Alex Greenwood during the Women's World Cup third-place play-off
Head coach Phil Neville talks tactics with Alex Greenwood during the Women's World Cup third-place play-off
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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.”