Steph Catley ensured co-hosts Australia opened their World Cup marketing campaign with a 1-0 victory over the Republic of Eire regardless of the absence of star striker Sam Kerr.
Catley’s second-half penalty was sufficient to clinch three factors for the Matildas in entrance of a file crowd of 75,784 at Stadium Australia in Sydney.
Nonetheless, they needed to do it the exhausting manner after their file goalscorer Kerr was dominated out of the primary two Group B video games with a calf damage suffered in coaching.
— CommBank Matildas (@TheMatildas) July 20, 2023
Vera Pauw’s facet, making their debut at a serious match, made life tough all through for a facet ranked tenth by FIFA, 12 locations above Eire.
However regardless of a late flurry, they have been unable to get themselves again on stage phrases and can now flip their consideration to subsequent Wednesday’s conflict with Canada in Perth.
For Australia, there was reduction after three hard-earned factors have been banked to match the feat of co-hosts New Zealand, who had earlier surprised Group A rivals Norway with a 1-0 victory in Auckland, forward of their second fixture in opposition to Nigeria subsequent Thursday.
In a good first half, Pauw’s well-organised defence restricted the Matildas to threatening from set-pieces and a Katrina Gorry try from distance.
Nonetheless, the breakthrough arrived seven minutes into the second half when midfielder Hayley Raso, who loved a full-blooded battle with Eire skipper Katie McCabe, was bundled over by Marissa Sheva within the penalty space and referee Edina Alves pointed to the spot.
Arsenal defender Catley, carrying the armband rather than Chelsea’s Kerr, whose shock absence had been confirmed barely 75 minutes earlier than kick-off, drilled the ensuing spot-kick into the highest nook to ease the strain contained in the stadium.
To their credit score, the Republic, who edged previous Scotland in a play-off to guide their ticket to the finals, refused to throw within the towel and instantly set concerning the job of making an attempt to pull themselves again into the competition.
An unimaginable effort from the women in inexperienced who deserved a minimum of a degree of their opening match
— Eire Soccer (@IrelandFootball) July 20, 2023
Certainly, Australia coach Tony Gustavsson despatched on veteran Clare Polkinghorne to shore up his defence as Megan Connolly despatched a late free-kick on to the roof of Mackenzie Arnold’s internet and McCabe scuffed an try in direction of aim.
However with play-off heroine Amber Barrett sitting on the bench, Eire have been unable to discover a well past Arnold and ended their massive day with plaudits, however no factors.
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Printed : 2023-07-20 13:48:00