A Stephanie Catley penalty was enough for Australia to secure a 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland at the Accor Stadium. The win puts the Matildas in control of a group that also contains Nigeria and Canada.
The win for Australia follows New Zealand’s shock win over Norway in the opening match of the tournament, meaning both co-hosts have opened with three points.
Co-hosts Australia beat Republic of Ireland 1-0 in their first group match thanks to a Stephanie Catley penalty.
Australia controlled possession from the beginning, moving the ball confidently in defence and through midfield.
The Republic of Ireland set up in their familiar 3-4-3 structure, looking to frustrate the co-hosts when they entered the final third.
Vera Pauw would have been delighted with the defensive aspects of the Republic of Ireland’s performance in the first half as they completely nullified Australia – limiting the Matildas to just one shot on target.
It didn’t take long for Australia to take the lead in the second half, though. Stephanie Catley was on hand to convert from 12 yards after Marissa Sheva bundled Hayley Raso over in the box.
Australia continued to commit bodies forward in search of a second goal to kill off the contest but the Republic of Ireland held firm.
The Republic of Ireland poured players forward as the game went on in search of a precious equaliser but just couldn’t find the killer final ball. Katie McCabe put in a succession of terrific in-swinging corners but the Irish couldn’t capitalise.
McCabe had a huge chance to rescue a point for her nation in the dying seconds of the match but couldn’t find a corner and saw her effort saved well by Mackenzie Arnold.