Wed July 21, 2021 2.30 p.m. BST
First published on Wed. July 21, 2021 11:47 am BST
2.30 p.m. BST 2.30 p.m.
All in all, a dominant start for the Matildas in a campaign that will set the tone for the 2023 World Cup. The tournament co-host, New Zealand, was good for his goal but might have suffered more if goalkeeper Erin Nayler hadn’t made some excellent saves. Follow the match report from Kieran Pender from Tokyo.
2:22 p.m. BST 2:22 p.m.
90 4 min. That’s all she wrote about Tokyo Stadium. A late, late shot at par there for the Football Ferns, but three minutes wasn’t enough to get the job done. The Matildas start their Olympic campaign with a win – the first under their new manager and NZ will regret what could have been after an improved performance in the second half.
2:20 p.m. BST 2:20 p.m.
90 1 min. How about that! Gabrielle Rennie comes on from the bench in the 89th minute. Two minutes later she scored a likely consolation goal but could still turn into a point. A defensive mistake lets NZ through and Luik is caught between two players while Rennie takes care of Williams.
2:17 p.m. BST 2:17 p.m.
90 minutes Fowler is in the middle and fires a few balls forward. Carpenter is a little too close to the byline for a cut. Heading the other way, Bowen has Foord in every way and on the hunt as she whizzes past the centerline into Matilda’s territory. Percival is getting closer, but not close enough.
2:14 p.m. BST 2:14 p.m.
87 min. A no-look pass from Kerr finds Carpenter, who was an absolute machine because he didn’t need a more eloquent phrase. Just as this phase ends, Catley is down again, this time clutching her knee after a challenge from Bowen that didn’t look too bad. She’s up again.
2:12 p.m. BST 2:12 p.m.
84 minutes Gustavsson tries to end this game more defensively by bringing in center-back Alanna Kennedy for striker Raso. None of that, however, will stop that free kick from Bowen, which sails right over the Matildas wall – which was quite high – and pulls Williams back to try and get a glove on. Fortunately for them, it’s a bit wide.
2:08 p.m. BST 2:08 p.m.
81 Minutes of NZ are chasing hard because they know there is a lot going on in this first game. The other countries in the group are the US, which win first place in the World Cup, and the other, fifth-placed Sweden, beat the US 3-0 tonight. It will be difficult for both teams to crack the first two places in the group.
A serious collision while defending a set piece leaves Catley on the ground for some time and teammates come to her aid. She is fine and will be back on her feet soon.
2:03 p.m. BST 2:03 p.m.
77 min. And with that, Simon’s shift comes to an end. She says goodbye to 18-year-old striker Mary Fowler, who joined the World Cup squad in 2019. At the same time, Yallop changes for Kyra Cooney-Cross, who was outstanding in the W-League title of the Melbourne Victory. Last season’s winning team.
14:00 BST14: 00
74 minutes Bott receives the first yellow card of the game from a sliding challenge on Polkinghorne. She has no contact with the ball and the referee does not hesitate. The opportunities keep coming back for Australia. Carpenter is back on the ball and walks to the near post, where Simon is waiting again. She half pushes past Moore and forces Nayler to act again. The seasoned keeper of the Silver Ferns didn’t do anything wrong tonight.
1:57 p.m. BST 1:57 p.m.
70 minute replacement for NZ with Paige Satchell replacing Green. Australia has to watch out for Satchell – she’s fast! Daisy Cleverley also replaces Chance.
1:53 p.m. BST 1:53 p.m.
67 minutes « Hello Emma ». Hello Richard. “Thank you for the live commentary on Australian women’s football. I appreciate very much that you and the Keeper are providing this. Looks like our Kiwi ladies have a little hill to climb, but it’s good to see the Olympics finally underway and congratulations to Brisbane on scoring the 32s!
The Kiwi ladies climbed almost half way up the hill due to a mistake by Lydia Williams. The keeper raced to the top of the box to stop an incoming attacker. She doesn’t look safe at all, can’t adapt, and follows clumsily. Carpenter is there to save her blush before the resulting shot can be taken.
1:50 p.m. BST 1:50 p.m.
64 min. Raso penetrates the defense and again Simon is in the right place. She is on the side but encounters resistance from Nayler, who is far from her line. But there is a distraction and Simon is on tiptoe, if only for Bott, who makes a decisive intervention.
1:47 p.m. BST 1:47 p.m.
61 min. Another eagerly anticipated through pass from van Egmond is run over by Foord and she tries her luck by tossing it into the air at the top of the box where Simon is lurking, but she has two defenders with her.
1:46 p.m. BST 1:46 p.m.
59 min. A nice ball from behind releases Kerr, who hits Erceg and swings her right boot, but it’s not threatening. The Matildas just keep going, taken care of by van Egmond and this time it’s Catley who crosses for Foord and forces a parade.
1:41 p.m. BST 1:41 p.m.
54 min. Neither Gustavsson nor Sermanni have looked at their benches. Maybe we’ll see some fresh legs after the lesson. Carpenter races off to the right again and clears a flank that Raso does well to bypass her boot. It’s close, but drops far from the far post.
1:38 p.m. BST 1:38 p.m.
51 min. Carpenter is on the overlap and when she has the ball it usually ends up in the box. Here it is again and Kerr almost scores with a head movement while she looks in the other direction.
1:36 p.m. BST 1:36 p.m.
48 minutes Kyah Simon may have scored three goals for Australia within two minutes of her return to the field, but once again when played at Kerr, she can’t get enough of it to bother Nayler. So far, NZ has started this half far more positively.
1:32 p.m. BST 1:32 p.m.
Kevin Plastow will contact you via email. “Hello Emma,” he says. « Am I correct if I think that this is not a U23 tournament like the men?
Yes, you are right. There is no upper age limit at the women’s tournament. The men’s competition is under 23, with three senior players per team. I should note that in light of the postponement of the Games by one year, the IOC has agreed to allow all male players who were below this age group on the original dates last year.
1:28 p.m. BST 1:28 p.m.
13:27 BST13: 27
Let’s take a short tour of the site. Japan and Canada have just finished their Group E game after Mana Iwabuchi equalized in the 84th minute for the hosts even 1-1. Canada’s start was scored by Christine Sinclair for the seasoned striker’s 187th international goal in her 300th international match.
And in Group F, the Netherlands have just scored their eighth goal against Zambia after 64 minutes. Vivianne Miedema, the prolific Arsenal striker, scored four of them.
1:18 p.m. BST 1:18 p.m.
45 minutes Bowen tries to remedy this deficit by drafting an attack in half the Matildas. She goes over to Catherine Bott, who is closed by Catley. NZ recycles the ball but it’s back to Australia soon and specifically Simon the EVE looking up to the left at Foord who is also looking up at Kerr in the box who is looking up and jumping upside down. It doesn’t happen this time. There will be no first half.
1:14 p.m. BST 1:14 p.m.
43 min. Australia has two-thirds of the ball possession, and oh! Simon has the header close to the goal and the open mouth beckons! But she can’t quite build enough forward thrust to exert the necessary strength. The number of shots is 7: 1 in favor of Australia, 4: 0 on goal.
13:11 BST13: 11
40 minutes Van Egmond and Yallop Trade passes, now it’s back to Polkinghorne and Williams. It’s a sense of patience to wait before leaving and know they’ll be in the shed in five minutes to reset them.
1:09 p.m. BST13: 09
37 minutes Australia is fed up now and Catley is up to date with a pass to Foord. The first touch of the latter is adroit, as is their insane run towards the area. Will they score a third goal before half time? No, because of a well-timed tackling of the formally strong Erceg, who slows down an opponent again. She was wonderful.
01:07 p.m. BST13: 07
33 min. Another near goal, but for a well-timed block from Erceg. I may have spoken too early about Simon, who combines well in midfield and ends her move with a swing to take care of Kerr. It doesn’t take long for the Matildas to find the last ball for a second goal. Catley sends a screeching, screeching corner and Kerrs is in poaching mode. She has a head and the ball hits the net from the inside of the crossbar. Sermanni doesn’t look happy in his dugout. Kerr celebrates by standing still as a Mark Bresciano-style statue.
01:03 p.m. BST13: 03
31 minutes Kerr’s head hits an offside foord after a pass. Actually, she was fine. She’s gone soon after, but Moore suits every movement. She succeeds even though the ball pulls directly at Kerr, who wastes no time throwing a ball in front of the goal. Raso practically dives into it, but can’t quite make contact.
12:59 p.m. BST12: 59
28 mins. Carpenter takes on Olivia Chance, but the ball is soon out of play. And she won a free kick, Carpenter did. Back three is one of those fun ones. Win and Gustavsson is a genius, loses and is considered a terrible mistake. That is the lot of a manager. There is a feeling that Carpenter and Catley, two world class attacking full-backs, might be wasted where they are currently positioned, but who should I say?
12:56 p.m. BST12: 56
I say this about the Matildas for 24 minutes. There is more flow in the front third than in the last friendlies. Something clicks a little more than before. Kerr is on the way and is well taken care of by the midfield. Simon is still a bit off with her passing game and her challenges, but all in all more positive omens than in the run-up to this tournament.
12:53 p.m. BST12: 53 p.m.
20 minutes It’s Tameka Yallop in the roof of the network. A stray pass from New Zealand within their own territory falls on the Matildas, leading from a cute Kerr backheel to a soaring, scorching yallop pulling Nayler off their line. The guard grabs, but she can’t keep it out.
12:49 p.m. BST12: 49
17 min. Raso is stopped again, this time by Green on the edge of the box to pull a corner. But it was what happened before that, what awakened the senses after Emily van Egmond delivered a glorious long ball that Kerr stands up for but leans back to sail to her teammate in Raso. Almost an own goal! Carpenter whips a cross and tries to intervene at Abby Erceg at the near post, heads straight at her own goal and forces Nayler to reflex parade.
12:46 p.m. BST12: 46
14 min. A handball denies Raso the chance to make her move. NZ is putting pressure on, I wonder how long they can hold out. Kerr makes a nice turn to the right, keeping an eye on Foord across the field, but the defense is in control. Kerr could have continued that.
12:43 p.m. BST 12:43 p.m.
11 minutes Simon sends a nice ball backwards. Foord is off the shoulder but the execution isn’t there this time. The Ferns win the ball back and Katie Bowen is gone for an aesthetically pleasing passage. She uses Hassett on the right flank and something builds up, but Bowen fails on a bad pass and it’s all over.
12:39 p.m. BST 12:39 p.m.
8 Minutes Foord wins a race with Catherine Bott to continue Australia’s aggressive start. NZ has calmed down a bit after a nervous start, but Raso is quick and she is in the box before you had time to blink. Simon tries to head a high ball, but Green wins the foul and NZ the free kick.
12:37 p.m. BST 12:37 p.m.
6 minutes Simon hits left-back Catley, who inexplicably sends the ball into the sky. Long-time TV keeper Erin Nayler gets it away, but is back with her soon. A second bang escapes Hassett and gives Australia the throw-in easily in their own half.
12.35 p.m. BST12: 35
3 minutes Australia are right up front and Kerr, who has been out in some of the last few friendlies, is right in the mix, including a scramble in goal. Chance is on the ball and Hassett is through space, but Williams brings him straight to the top.
12:32 p.m. BST12: 32
The Matildas can be photographed with the Aboriginal flag. Really nice recognition. Lydia Williams and Kyah Simon are both indigenous people.
12:25 p.m. BST12: 25
I just had a question about how to watch the game on TV in Australia. The feed on Seven’s main channel has just started (Farmer Wants a Wife has obviously run over). But the teams have just gone to an empty Tokyo stadium and are waiting for the anthems.
12:18 p.m. BST12: 18
Check out that Martha goal against China tonight. She was already the goat, but is now also the first player, male or female, to score a goal in five Olympic Games in a row. She is 35. What a career.
A brilliant goal from Marta! Brazil’s Marta Vieira da Silva scores third and final goal against China. # Tokyo2020 | # 7Olympics pic.twitter.com/g60lryD5FP
12:14 p.m. BST12: 14
ICYMI got some big news tonight when Brisbane was awarded the right to host the 2032 Olympics. It was a foregone conclusion as the Queensland bid was the only one in the race, but still something to look forward to. It will be Australia’s third Olympics and second Paralympics.
12.12 p.m. BST12: 12
As expected, Gustavsson sticks to the last three he tested, with Steph Catley and Ellie Carpenter flanking Clare Polkinghorne. Lydia Williams resumes her usual role in goal, Aivi Luik starts in midfield. Sam Kerr leads the attack with the assistance of Caitlin Foord and Kyah Simon.
We’re at Tokyo Stadium 35 minutes before the start of the first game of our @ Tokyo2020 campaign. Here are the starting eleven for our @TheNZTeam Women’s Football Team v @TheMatildas! # EarnTheFern # KoTatauTeKapaOAotearoa pic.twitter.com/bEmLReoV7a
11:55 a.m. BST11: 55
Sam Lewis has prepared a nice preview of this game and looks ahead to the rest of the group stage.
« Expectations for Tokyo will vary with everything that has happened and continues to happen. New Zealand come to the games after having not played a competitive game since March 2020. Sweden have an aging squad, while the US failed to convince in their pre-season games and scored results against Portugal and Nigeria in June.
So it is impossible to predict how things will go for Australia after a difficult, inactive one Pandemic time under Gustavsson is still without a win. ”
11:47 a.m. BST11: 47
So, hello! Welcome to the postponed Olympic Games that shouldn’t take place, but will now certainly bring some beguiling sporting moments. Football is one of the early risers on the day of the games. We already had a bit of softball today when Australia was subject to the host country Japan by « grace rule », and in the beautiful game Team GB already defeated Chile 2-0 in group E, Brazil defeated China 5-0 in group F and Sweden upset the USA in Group G 3-0. The final result is a big one in terms of Australia’s hopes of getting out of Group G.
But first! The Matildas open their Tokyo 2020 campaign against New Zealand, an old rival who may not be quite a rival considering that Australia have beaten Football Ferns in their last 28 women’s internationals (25 wins, 3 draws) since October 1994 undefeated But Tom Sermanni’s New Zealand side may still have a tough time and the former Matildas manager knows Australia’s game well. Beforehand, it should be noted that the Matildas under Tony Gustavsson have not had an easy run so far, having lost four of their last five games, including heavy defeats to Germany and the Netherlands, squeezing the team between two unenviable feelings of anticipation and pressure .
For some important information about how this tournament works, there are three groups of four teams each, with the first two automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals together with the two best third-placed teams. Here are the groups:
Group E: Great Britain, Canada, Japan, Chile Group F: China, Brazil, Zambia, Netherlands Group G: Sweden, USA, Australia, New Zealand
Let’s get the ball rolling, so to speak. As always, hit me with thoughts as we go.
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