Australia successfully advanced in its pursuit to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup on home soil. They achieved this through an impressive 2-0 victory against Denmark captivating a crowd of 75,784 spectators who filled Sydney’s Stadium Australia.
Next on the schedule, the tournament co-hosts will face either Morocco or France in the quarter-final clash set to take place on Saturday, 12.
After a slow start for the Matildas in the match, they quickly managed to take control of the game thanks to Caitlin Foord’s goal in minute 29.
A counterattack perfectly played. The ball reached Mary Fowler who was quick to find Foord and offer her the opportunity to face off with Denmark’s goalkeeper. Australia’s number 9 did not hesitate to accept her 20-year-old teammate’s gift and put the ball in the back of the net.
The green and yellow crowd went crazy.
From that moment on, the match was pretty much one-sided.
Denmark couldn’t match Australia’s high press, build-up play, and chances creation. Mackenzie Arnold, Australia’s goalkeeper, wasn’t bothered as much.
Pernille Harder and Amalie Vansgaard rarely got the ball as the midfield continuously failed to find them and get past that solid Australian midfield.
The Aussies seemed more comfortable. They dominated the match from start to finish and found themselves counting on Caitlin Foord who delivered one of her best performances.
Hayley Raso, Australia’s heroine against Canada, shone again yesterday and added yet another goal to her tally. It was her team’s second goal of the match that secured them a spot in the next round. Assisted by Emily van Egmond, Raso blasted home her second goal of the tournament.
Katrina Gorry, Mary Fowler, Emily Van Egmond, and Ellie Carpenter were also solid.
Australia Can Finally Count On Sam Kerr!
For the devoted Matildas supporters, the evening couldn’t have been more ideal as their superstar Sam Kerr finally made her long-awaited comeback! She played her first minutes at this World Cup.
After picking up a calf injury on the eve of Australia’s opener against Ireland on July 20, Sam Kerr missed all of her team’s group-stage matches.
Except for the first match against the debutants Ireland, Sam Kerr’s absence didn’t affect Australia’s performances as many would have expected. But she’s still one of the World’s best forwards and her comeback only makes things better.
And fans know it. As soon as Kerr began her warm-up on the sidelines, we were treated to one of the biggest cheers of the match. It was a sight Matildas fans were impatient for.
In minute 80, once Australia went up 2-0 and widened the gap with the Danes, Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson gave his talismanic striker, Samantha Kerr, the opportunity to finally make her tournament debut under a hero’s welcome.
In a post-match interview, Sam’s smile was impossible to hide. “Just relief, honestly, it’s been a long three weeks, but yeah, it’s amazing. Everyone’s been so supportive of me personally as well, it makes you feel so welcome when you do eventually come back,” she told reporters. Then, she added: “we have an amazing bunch of girls and an amazing crowd backing us.”
Kerr’s smile drastically disappeared moments after when mentioning the attention that surrounded her injury. A helicopter even flew over the team’s training ground. “I felt a little bit disrespected because it’s not about me, it’s about the team and they’re preparing for a World Cup,” she said.
The Matildas have never reached the semifinals of a Women’s World Cup. The quarterfinals stage is their best performance throughout the past editions, but with the crowd’s support, and their captain fantastic Sam Kerr fit and ready, they will be looking to keep the World Cup trophy in Australia.
Points To Remember:
– 6.54 million viewers in Australia (over 25% of all Australians)
– A crowd of 75,784 cheering for the Matildas.
– Sam Kerr’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup debut.
– Quarter-final match this Saturday against France or Morocco.