The Maltidas of Australia on Thursday at the Accor Stadium in Sydney picked the vital full points in Group B opener, beating Republic of Ireland 1-0 via penalty kick.
Arsenal of England female team defender, Stephanie–Elise Catley gently tucked in the goal in the 53rd minute after Ireland’s defender Fahey fouled an attacker in the box.Brazilian Ref, Edina Alvez quickly pointed to the box and VAR woman, Delane Muniz also from Brazil nodded an approval.
Ref Catley is on her 2nd World Cup as she handled the England versus USA 2019 semifinal in France.Australia temporarily leads Group B comprising Nigeria, Canada and Ireland with 3 points.
The ladies in Green who were coming to the world cup party for the first time showed naivety even on the field of play having only 8 shots at goal with just one on target as against 13 shots at goal of Aussies with 2 on target; Australia dominated possession 63%-37%. The Aussies stringed 456 passes to 251 of Ireland to establish their superiority.
Australia committed 12 fouls to Ireland’s 9 showing Nigeria may have a physical game with them though African countries are known to be very physical in play; Ireland had 7 corner kicks to Australia’s 6 showing the European country has not perfected their set pieces. The only yellow card went to Ireland.
The match, however, showed that despite the debutante tag of the Ireland players, Australia was lucky to get the winning penalty kick as Ireland showed signs of determinations to get stronger.
Co-hosts, Australia will play Nigeria in their 2nd match on 27th July same day Ireland will play Canada in their 2nd match while the 3rd Goup matches takes place simultaneously on 31st July with Nigeria verus Ireland at 1100 hours and Canada versus hosts Australia at the same time.
Both Australia and Ireland met once on 21st September 2021 and Ireland ran away with a 3-2 victory.In all of Australia’s 8 appearances in 1995; 1999; 2003; 2007; 2011; 2015 and 2019 the country made the quarters only once at the 6th Edition in Germany which Japan won by beating USA.
Australia in that 2011 Germany Edition, surprised Book makers by coming 2nd with 6 points after Brazil that chalked 9 points to top Group D while top rated Norway could only make 3 points for beating Equatorial Guinea that had no point in the group. Australia fell to Sweden 1-3 on 10th July at Augsburg in the quarters.
Matches for tomorrow are Nigeria versus Canada in group B cracker at 0330 hours; Philippines takes Switzerland in the outstanding Group A encounter at 0600 hours and Spain tackles Costa Rica at 0830 am.