Connect with us

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Catley penalty gives Kerr-less Australia winning start

Published

on

Co-hosts Australia laboured initially in the absence of injured captain Sam Kerr but a second-half penalty from Steph Catley got them off to a solid start at the Women’s World Cup with a 1-0 win over Ireland in Group B on Thursday.

The news that striker Kerr had been ruled out by a calf injury stunned the record crowd of 75,784 as it filtered into Stadium Australia but Catley stepped up to take the captain’s armband and score the decisive goal in the 52nd minute.

Ireland, cheered on by a noisy band of compatriots, made life difficult for the Australians with their compact defence and came close to forcing an equaliser during a period of sustained pressure late in the second half.

“It’s incredible to get the win, I think this is the longest buildup to a game in my entire life,” Catley told reporters.

“Losing a player like Sam, probably the best player in the world and her as a person, obviously we were heartbroken. We had to use her spirit … to help us push on. She’s so, so important, she’s our spiritual leader.”

Advertisement

After a moment’s silence for the victims of the morning’s shooting in Auckland, the game opened as had been expected with Ireland getting plenty of bodies behind the ball and challenging Australia to try to break them down.

The Matildas were successful in using their pace on the flanks to get behind the Irish defence but the massed ranks of green shirts managed to deal with the subsequent crosses into the box.

It was from the set piece that the hosts looked most likely to score and winger Hayley Raso had the first attempt on goal from a 28th minute corner only to flash her header wide.

The second shot on goal came just before halftime but Katrina Gorry’s long-range effort was easily gathered by Courtney Brosnan in the Ireland goal.

‘ONE MISTAKE’

Australia came out with more intent after the break and the half was only seven minutes old when Kyra Cooney-Cross sent the ball looping into the box and Ireland forward Marissa Sheva shoved Raso to the ground.

Advertisement

Catley gave Brosnan no chance with the penalty, striking the ball with her left foot firmly into the top corner of the Ireland net.

The penalty appeared to ease the Australian nerves and Mary Fowler, who had replaced Kerr up front, almost immediately stormed forward and lashed a shot high over the bar.

Australia striker Caitlin Foord headed the ball across the face of goal in the 68th minute but that presaged Ireland’s best period of the game as they launched wave after wave of attacks.

Megan Connolly came close with a free kick in stoppage time which whipped just over the angle of the post and crossbar to give the Australians in the crowd a mighty fright.

The Irish continued to pour forward in search of an equaliser and Katie McCabe forced Australia goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold into a save before Louise Quinn headed the ball just past the post in the dying seconds.

Advertisement

Australia, however, held on to make a winning start to a tournament in which they feel they can be genuine contenders after wins over England, Spain and France this year.

“It’s very disappointing, we said at halftime this was a game that would be decided by one mistake, them or us,” Ireland coach Vera Pauw told RTE.

“Sam Kerr is one of the top strikers in the world, her not playing was of course an advantage, but they have a powerful team and it was very difficult to play against them.”

-Reuters

FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 – Group B – Australia v Republic of Ireland – Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia – July 20, 2023 Australia’s Steph Catley celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Advertisement

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

CAF Women’s Champions League Qualifiers draw holds on Wednesday

Published

on

The 2024-2025 women’s interclub football season will officially kick off on Wednesday, 24 July, with the draw for the CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers in 4 zones: UNAF, UNIFFAC, WAFU B and CECAFA.

The draw will be conducted at 10:00 GMTat the CAF Headquarters in Egypt and live-streamed on CAF TV and CAFOnline.com. 

Below are the teams entered by zone and the dates of the qualifying tournaments:

WAFU B (10 – 23 August): Ainonvi FC (Benin), Hasaacas Ladies (Ghana), Inter d’Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), AO Étincelles OU USFA (Burkina Faso), AS Garde Nationale (Niger), Edo Queens (Nigeria), ASKO de Kara (Togo).

UNAF (21 – 31 August): CF Akbou (Algeria), Tutankhamun (Egypt), AS Far (Morocco), ASF Sousse (Tunisia)

Advertisement

CECAFA (17 August – 4 September): PVP Buyenzi (Burundi), FAD (Djibouti), CBE FC (Ethiopia), Kenya Police Bullets (Kenya), Kawempe Muslim (Uganda), Rayon Sports (Rwanda), Yei Joint Stars (South Sudan), Simba Queens (Tanzania), Warriors Queens (Zanzibar)

UNIFFAC (16 – 24 August): Lekié FF (Cameroon), TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Atlético de Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), CSM Diables Noirs (Congo)

Continue Reading

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Colombia 2024: Danjuma invites 32 as countdown begins to Final Tournament

Published

on

Flying Eagles, Falconets To Resume Camp On Thursday -

With just eight weeks to their first match of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024, Head Coach Chris Musa Danjuma has called up four goalkeepers, eight defenders, eight midfielders and 12 strikers to a training camp in the Federal Capital, Abuja in the first phase of preparation for the global tournament.

Team captain Oluchi Ohaegbulem is top of the list, with first-choice goalkeeper Faith Omilana, defenders Shukurat Oladipo and Comfort Folorunsho, midfielders Chinyere Kalu, Adoo Yina and Rofiat Imuran, and forwards Janet Akekoromowei, Flourish Sabastine and Aminat Bello also called.

Nigeria, a fixture at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals since the tournament began as an U19 event in Canada 22 years ago, will contend with three-time winners Germany, Asian powerhouse Korea Republic and South American representatives Venezuela in group D of the competition scheduled for three Colombian cities, 31st August – 22nd September.

All the invited are expected at Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuye, Abuja on Sunday, 7th July.

ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:

Advertisement

Goalkeepers: Anderline Mgbechi (Delta Queens); Rachael Unachukwu (Nasarawa Amazons); Faith Omilana (Naija Ratels); Shukura Bakare (Nasarawa Amazons)

Defenders: Oluchi Ohaegbulem (Nasarawa Amazons); Jumoke Alani (Nasarawa Amazons); Shukurat Oladipo (FC Robo Queens); Oluwabunmi Oladeji (Naija Ratels); Folashade Adegbemile (Delta Queens); Chidera Okenwa (Delta Queens); Comfort Folorunsho (Edo Queens); Taiwo Lawal

Midfielders: Adoo Yina (Nasarawa Amazons); Olushola Shobowale (Nasarawa Amazons); Aminat Folorunsho (Rivers Angels); Chioma Olise (Edo Queens); Chinyere Kalu (Nasarawa Amazons); Joy Igbokwe (Naija Ratels); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France); Zikora Agama (Naija Ratels)

Forwards: Delight Nwosu (Dannaz Ladies); Adaobi Okah (Remo Stars Ladies); Chiamaka Okwuchukwu (Rivers Angels); Chinaza Agoh (Delta Queens); Mary Nkpa (Heartland Queens); Chiamaka Osigwe (Edo Queens); Janet Akekoromowei (Asisat Academy); Mary Offor (Adamawa Queens); Flourish Sabastine (Stade de Reims, France); Sharon Ulumma (Heartland Queens); Aminat Bello (Otero College, USA); Reilly Adebowale (Bohemian FC, Republic of Ireland)   

Advertisement
Continue Reading

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Nigeria’s Flamingos drawn against debuting hosts in FIFA U-17 World Cup

Published

on

The Flamingos, Nigeria’s U-17 women’s football team have been drawn against hosts, Dominican Republic for the finals of the Women’s U-17 World Cup holding from 16 October to 3 November in two host cities of Santo Domingo  and Santiago de los Caballeros.

 Both Nigeria and Dominican Republic are drawn in Group A along with Ecuador and New Zealand.  In Group B are Spain, USA, Korea Republic and Colombia.

Group C has  Korea DPR, Mexico, Kenya and England while those competing in Group D are  Japan , Poland, Brazil and Zambia.

The hosts will make their debut in the competition on 16 October against Ecuador in Santiago de los Caballeros, with New Zealand and Nigeria completing Group A.

Herrera, the first Dominican woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, had a special message for her compatriots taking part in the World Cup. She said: “I am the living example that you can achieve your dreams. So, keep up the good work. I am looking forward to seeing those amazing games.”

Advertisement

Reigning champions Spain, meanwhile, will kick off their campaign in Group B, in which they will face USA, Korea Republic and Colombia, runners-up last time around.

“The advice to all the players that will participate here is to be confident and go live your dream. ¡Y Buena suerte!” said Flores, who took part in this tournament two years ago in India.

Continue Reading

Most Viewed