Brisbane: A Georgia Stanway penalty gave European champions England a scrappy 1-0 win over Haiti to begin their FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 title bid in unconvincing fashion on Saturday.
Played in front of over 44,000 fans at Brisbane Stadium, most of whom were supporting the English, Stanway's 29th-minute penalty proved to be enough to just about see off a gutsy Haitian side.
England went into the match as firm favourites over Haiti, who are playing in their first World Cup.
But despite dominating territory and possession at times, the Lionesses struggled to put Haiti away and had to rely on some late brilliance from goalkeeper Mary Earps to secure all three points.
Group C: Dominant Japan overwhelm debutants Zambia
Hamilton: A dominant display from Japan saw them run riot in a 5-0 victory against debutants Zambia in their first match of the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group C at Waikato Stadium on Saturday.
The 2011 World Cup champions made their intentions clear from the start with wave after wave of attacks on the Zambian goal in the early proceedings.
Group E: Resolute Vietnam make United States work hard
Auckland: Vietnam produced a steely performance as defending champions the United States were made to work hard for a 3-0 win in their opening FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group E tie at Eden Park on Saturday.
Tournament debutants Vietnam frustrated the four-time champions with their disciplined and resolute defending and will look forward to their remaining matches with confidence.
Dunedin: Philippines head coach Alen Stajcic applauded his players for their fighting performance in their FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 opener on Friday.
Appearing at this stage for the first time, the Southeast Asian side held their own against a strong Switzerland team who had to work hard for their 2-0 win at the Dunedin Stadium.
Stajcic’s side put on a performance that was organised, committed and frustrated Switzerland for long spells until Ramona Bachmann’s first-half penalty gave the European side the lead. Seraina Piubel doubled the advantage on 64 minutes to see La Nati take all three points and claim an early lead at the top of Group A.
Sydney: Australia head coach Tony Gustavsson praised his team’s mental resilience after kicking off their FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Group B rivals the Republic of Ireland on Thursday despite the absence of captain Sam Kerr due to injury.
Chelsea striker Kerr was left out of the starting line-up for the Matildas’ tournament debut after sustaining a calf strain on Wednesday, but Steph Catley’s 52nd minute penalty was enough to earn the tournament co-hosts their first three points of the competition.