Women's World Cup: Australia secures spot in quarter-finals with victory over Denmarktext_fields
Sydney: Australia's national women's football team, also known as the Matildas, advanced to the quarter-finals of the Women's World Cup with a convincing 2-0 win against Denmark on Monday.
The match, held in Sydney in front of a crowd of nearly 76,000 fans, saw the co-hosts display a dominant performance to secure their spot in the last eight.
Star striker Sam Kerr, who had been nursing a calf injury, made a significant impact as she returned to the pitch in the latter stages of the game. With this victory, the Matildas have set up a clash against either France or Morocco in the quarter-finals, scheduled to take place in Brisbane on Saturday, reported AFP.
During the match, Caitlin Foord showcased her attacking prowess, causing trouble for the Danish defence throughout the game. She scored the opening goal in the 29th minute after a brilliant pass from Mary Fowler. Hayley Raso added a second goal to secure the victory for Australia, finding the net 20 minutes before the final whistle.
Denmark, ranked 13th in the world compared to Australia's 10th ranking, had their moments in the game, but they failed to capitalise on their chances. Pernille Harder had an opportunity to put Denmark ahead in the first quarter of the match, but her shot was saved by Australian goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.
Despite facing some early pressure from Denmark, Australia took the lead unexpectedly when Fowler's precise long pass found Foord on the left, who finished expertly with her left foot, beating the Danish goalkeeper. Foord's speed and movement continued to trouble the Danish defence as she nearly scored again with a deflected shot.
In the second half, Foord remained a standout player, earning praise from Australia's coach Tony Gustavsson for her relentless efforts in both defence and attack. Denmark made tactical changes to spark their offence but was unable to find the equaliser.
Australia's Emily van Egmond played a crucial role in setting up Raso's goal, sealing the victory for the Matildas. However, the highlight of the evening came when Sam Kerr finally made her tournament debut as a substitute, receiving an enthusiastic reception from the crowd.