The Westfield Matildas have given the USA an almighty scare but ultimately come out on the wrong end of a 3-1 score line in their opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ at Winnipeg Stadium earlier tonight.
The Westfield Matildas showed they could more than match it with their highly fancied opponents in front of a boisterous crowd of 31,148, most of which were supporting the USA. However, a slice of luck in the American’s favour and some missed opportunities in Australia’s attacking third proved vital in deterring the result.
Wearing the captain’s armband in her 100th appearance for her country, a superb team goal from Lisa De Vanna cancelled out Megan Rapinoe’s deflected and somewhat fortunate 12th minute opener, De Vanna’s strike meaning she has now scored at three consecutive World Cups.
An electrifying opening 30 minutes saw the Westfield Matildas threaten to blow the game apart as they created a number of opportunities against the world number two ranked country, only a couple of fine saves from USA keeper Hope Solo preventing the complexion of the game being well in Australia’s favour.
Despite copping a knock to the hip in the 5th minute, defender Laura Alleway was a tower of strength against imposing American captain Abby Wambach, which allowed the likes of Emily van Egmond, Caitlin Foord and co to cause the USA headaches at the other end of the field.
Despite being well in the game, Christen Press’ goal just after the hour mark followed by Rapinoe’s second with 12 minutes remaining left the Westfield Matildas with a mountain to climb and despite their best efforts, it wasn’t to be as they must wait for yet another day to try and defeat the USA for the first time.
While the loss was tough to take, Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic remained upbeat in his post match media conference, stating World Cups are not won or lost after the first match and that his team’s belief is still high as they look ahead to Friday when they face Nigeria who drew 3-3 with Sweden in the other Group D encounter.
USA 3 (Rapone 12’/78’, Press 61’)
Westfield Matildas 1 (De Vanna 27’)
Referee: Claudia Umpierrez (Uruguay)
Crowd: 31,148 @ Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg
Westfield Matildas starting line-up: 18.Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 5.Laura ALLEWAY (3.Ashleigh SYKES 83’), 6.Servet UZUNLAR, 7.Steph CATLEY, 8.Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 9.Caitlin FOORD, 10.Emily van EGMOND, 11.Lisa DE VANNA (c), 19.Katrina GORRY (14.Alanna KENNEDY 80’), 20.Samantha KERR, 23.Michelle HEYMAN (17.Kyah SIMON 69’)
Substitutes not used: 2.Larissa CRUMMER, 12.Leena KHAMIS, 13.Tameka BUTT, 15.Teresa POLIAS, 16.Hayley RASO, 21.Mackenzie ARNOLD (gk), 22.Nicola BOLGER
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
USA starting line-up: 1.Hope SOLO (gk), 2.Sydney LEROUX (13.Alex MORGAN 79’), 4.Becky SAUERBRUNN, 10.Carli LLOYD, 11.Ali KRIEGER, 12.Lauren HOLIDAY, 15.Megan RAPINOE (14.Morgan BRIAN 86’), 19.Julie JOHNSTON, 20.Abby WAMBACH (c), 22.Meghan KLINGENBERG, 23.Christen PRESS (17.Tobin HEATH 68’)
Substitutes not used: 3.Christie RAMPONE, 5.Kelley O’HARA, 6.Whitney ENGEN, 7.Shannon BOXX, 8.Amy RODRIGUEZ, 9.Heather O’REILLY, 16.Lori CHALUPNY, 18.Ashlyn HARRIS (gk), 21.Alyssa NAEHER (gk)
Yellow cards: Holiday 56’, M.Rapinoe 64’
Red cards: Nil
All matches from the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ will be live on SBS ONE, SBS HD and online, with the only exceptions being the concurrent group stage matches which will be streamed live online at www.sbs.com.au/theworldgame.