Women’s World Cup: Australia, without Sam Kerr, beat Ireland on a penalty kick (1-0)
Oceanikas opened the World Cup by defeating a team whose defensive style almost paid off. Catley’s penalty was enough to give the hosts their first points.
In front of nearly 76,000 spectators at Sydney’s Australian Stadium on the day of his World Cup debut and without one of his star players, it is only natural that nerves get the better of the home team and, in general, the favourites.
It took the Matildas some time to win, but they managed it thanks to Steve Catley’s penalty goal in the 52nd minute.
Before that, despite their tenacity in attack and greater control of the ball, they had been unable to overcome the Irish, who were making their first World Cup final appearance.
And so, it was only when Real Madrid’s Hayley Raso, who missed a fine first-half header, went down in the box and Catley scored the ensuing penalty, that Ireland changed their strategy.
The Australians’ nerves almost got the better of them. They also struggled when opponents lunged forward.
But the Greens lack quality and scoring ability. In four of their previous five matches they had failed to put a goal on the scoresheet. And now she’s six. Katrina Gorey had her best break, but she couldn’t beat Mackenzie Arnold.
And so the Australians fought back by winning an important victory that would make them calmer in the coming matches.
All stats Australia Ireland on Flashscore.
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