Matilda kicked off her Olympic campaign with a stunning 2-1 victory over New Zealand after the US women’s national team lost 3-0 to Sweden.
the main points:
- Tamika Yallop and Sam Kerr scored in the first half before New Zealand finally joined the draw in the 91st minute.
- Previously, the United States suffered a crushing 3-0 defeat to Sweden, which immediately led to a rift in Group G.
- Sweden tops the group, followed by Australia, New Zealand and USWNT
Wednesday’s results put Sweden at the top of Group G, the most crowded with women in the football draw, with Australia in second place, New Zealand in third place, the World Cup winners and the Americans in last place.
After some uninspiring results before then, Matilda made a solid bid to open her account in Tokyo, with a solid start to finish with the win.
Australia’s goal came in the first half, with Tamika Yallop and Sam Kerr, with the Football Fires team arriving on the scoreboard in the 91st minute to determine recovery.
Matilda held on, but the nervous finish was a far cry from a dominant performance in the first half.
A defensive error appeared in the 20th minute in front of Kyah Simon, who shook the ball to Kerr and a clean preliminary touch entered Yallop in the goal with a powerful shot that pierced the hands of New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler.
There were mixed feelings at home as Yallop’s wife, former soccer player Fern Kirsty Yallop, was watching with their new son, Harley.
Matilda then scored 2-0 when Steve Catley’s corner kick was perfectly positioned for Kerr to get past Michaela Moore and head the crossbar, ending the striker’s five-game stint.
The Australians kept pressing, with big threats from Catley, Kaitlyn Faure, Emily van Egmond and Kerr, while Simon and Ford had the opportunity to increase their lead in the second half but were stopped by Nieler.
New Zealand could, and probably should, have scored in the 65th minute after a mistake by Lydia Williams.
The Australian goalkeeper stumbled on the edge of the penalty area when he tried to push the ball into his own zone, but instead of trying to break through the open door from an extreme angle, New Zealander Hannah Wilkinson took the cross, and was collected by Eli Carpenter. Boot the ball to remove the obstacle.
In the end, Verne outperformed Williams when she crowned Gabe Rainey in her Olympic debut.
USWNT surprised Sweden
Previously, the world number one defeated the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) 3-0 to begin her Olympic tournament.
The Americans were undefeated 44 on the way to Tokyo, their last defeat in nearly two and a half years – 3-1 against France on January 20, 2019.
But this record was not important for the Swedes, ranked fifth in the world, who looked more elegant than the park.
Stena Blackstein scored goals in each of the first half, before substitute Lena Hurtig scored the third goal in the 72nd minute to achieve the impressive result.
It was Sweden’s second consecutive Olympic victory over the United States, having won a penalty shootout in the 2016 quarter-finals by being eliminated from the Rio Olympics.
The top two teams from each of the three groups qualify for the quarter-finals, and two third-placed teams also qualify.
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