Matildas trounce Ghana 4-1 at Women's World Cup
The Matildas have opened the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup with an emphatic 4-1 win over Ghana in Hangzhou and in the process ended a nine-match winless run at women’s football’s showpiece event.
The Matildas have opened the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup with an emphatic 4-1 win over Ghana in Hangzhou and in the process ended a nine-match winless run at women-s football-s showpiece event.
Lisa De Vanna scored a second half double after coming off the bench at half time, while Sarah Walsh and Heather Garriock each scored a goal, to record a first ever win at a World Cup finals by an Australian team. More importantly the big win, sets up Australia-s tilt at advancing to the next phase of the tournament.
Australia should have won by a bigger margin in the end; both De Vanna and Walsh should have had hat-tricks, but missed several golden opportunities towards the end.
It was a dominant performance from the Matildas, although there were still a few anxious moments in defence, which will have coach Tom Sermanni making sure the team stays focused for its next match against Norway.
Leading 1-0 at the break thanks to a deserved goal by Walsh, who was the star in the first half, the introduction of the speedy De Vanna at half time, caused Ghana all sorts of problems in the second half as Australia ran away with the game.
The match started positively for Australia, with Garriock looking menacing on the left and with in five minutes had already whipped in three penetrating crosses.
However some hesitant defending saw Ghana get the first chance of the match, but Avoe shot across the face of goal.
Walsh then had two quick chances in succession after she was able to break clear of the defence; the first went across the face of goal and the second well saved by Ghana keeper Sulemana.
Australia-s dominance paid off in the 15th minute, when a Sally Shipard cross came to Caitlin Munoz, who squeezed a pass to Walsh, who buried her left foot shot home from 10 yards.
Ghana had the chance to draw even when Barbieri was caught out of her area, but Amankwa fluffed her shot and was cleared away by Cheryl Salisbury.
Munoz should have made it 2-0 when presented with a golden chance on 31 minutes from close range, but sliced her shot wide of near post.
With the temperature hovering around the 30 degree mark, Sermanni decided to unleash De Vanna on the tiring Ghanaian defence and she looked lively and had a shot in the 51st minute, touched onto the crossbar by Sulemana.
Garriock was inches over the bar soon after, but it was long before Australia doubled its lead.
Collette McCallum was quick to turn a loose pass by Ghana into attack, releasing Walsh, who sprinted into the box and squared to De Vanna. The West Australian guided her shot goalwards, which was assisted into the goal by Sulemana.
Garriock capped a terrific game, with a magnificent header from a Di Alagich cross to make it 3-0 in the 69th minute and the game was as good as over… or so they thought.
Within 20 seconds of the re-start, Ghana had their only goal, when Amankwa beat Kate McShea in the penalty area and hit a powerful shot past Barbieri.
Stung by the goal, Australia regrouped and dominated proceedings, happy to let Ghana dominate possession and hit on the break.
After being denied by Sulemana a minute earlier, De Vanna made no mistake a second time when she was released by Garriock and she slipped past Sulemana, who had come out of the penalty box and calmly stroked her shot home to ensure the victory.
De Vanna and Walsh both had chances to grab further goals in the dying minutes, but were denied and the score finished at 4-1.
The only sour note for Australia was an injury to Jo Peters, who had to be stretchered off with what looks like a knee injury.
The Matildas next match is on Saturday night against group favourites Norway, with kick-off at 10pm AEST.
Australia 4 (Sarah Walsh 15-, Lisa De Vanna 57-/81-, Heather Garriock 69-) Ghana 1
Australia line-up: Melissa Barbieri (gk); Clare Polkinghorne (Thea Slatyer 83-), Cheryl Salisbury (c), Di Alagich, Kate McShea, Sally Shipard, Collette McCallum, Heather Garriock, Jo Peters (Alicia Ferguson 62-), Sarah Walsh, Caitlin Munoz (Lisa De Vanna h/t) Subs Not Used: Rhian Davies, Kate Gill, Lauren Colthorpe, Danielle Small, Lydia Williams (gk), Jo Burgess, Emma Wirkus (gk)
Cautions: Walsh (53-), McShea (87-), Salisbury (90-) Expulsions: Nil
Referee: Adriana Correa (Colombia)