The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup continued Thursday on FOX and the FOX Sports app with a matchup between tournament cohost Australia and Ireland at Sydney’s Stadium Australia in front of a record crowd of roughly 76,000 fans.
The Matildas, who are 10th in FIFA’s rankings, took down Ireland — which is making its debut at the World Cup and playing in its first major global tournament — 1-0 in the Group B match.
Australia was without captain and star striker Sam Kerr, who will miss the first two matches of the tournament after picking up a calf strain during training Thursday, the team announced roughly an hour before their group stage opener.
Check out our live coverage below!
77′: All gas, no brakes
Despite playing from behind most of the game, Ireland didn’t let off the gas in the match’s final minutes. Instead, The Girls in Green continued to play hard until the end and tried to take advantage of every opportunity to knot things up.
It wasn’t enough to spark a comeback, however, and things ended there.
67′: Think again!
Australia goalie Mackenzie Arnold wasn’t letting anything get past her despite Ireland’s best efforts late in the second half.
63′: Fountain of youth
Ireland forward Abbie Larkin, 18, was substituted in the game midway through the second half. She’s the youngest member of Ireland’s national team and one of just 18 players in this World Cup who are 18 years old or younger.
Australia defender Steph Catley converted a penalty kick for the first point of the match, putting the Matildas ahead 1-0.
A penalty was conceded by Ireland’s Marissa Sheva mere moments into the second half.
41′: Yellow card
Ireland midfielder Denise O’Sullivan was shown the first yellow card of the match — and just the second of the tournament thus far — late in the first half, as things remained scoreless between both teams headed into the break.
36′: No quit
Australia’s Caitlin Foord pulled out all the stops in the first half with one attempt after another in an effort to get the home team on the board before the half.
28′: What could’ve been
Hayley Raso was this close to putting Australia on the board, but her header just missed.
23′: Happy feet
Australia’s Mary Fowler showed off her fancy footwork in the first half, as the Matildas continued to pressure Ireland.
19′: Finding a rhythm
Foord won a corner for the home side midway through the first half, as her squad found its footing.
6′: On the move
Australia midfielder Katrina Gorry put pressure on Ireland right out of the gate. Exhibit A:
1′: Lights, camera, action!
Things got underway between the veteran Australians and the newcomer Irish in front of a boisterous, packed crowd.
Setting the stage
The “World Cup Now” crew previewed the match live on Twitter ahead of kickoff.
Eyes on the prize
“We feel like underdogs, and we embrace it,” Ireland forward Marissa Sheva said ahead of Thursday’s match.
“I think it gives us a little bit of energy, and we know the pressure is not on us, it’s on them for this game.”
On the other side, Australia has loads of experience heading into Thursday’s tilt, with 16 players returning from previous World Cup rosters.
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