Group A: Philippines go down fighting against Switzerland
Dunedin: Philippines marked their historic FIFA Women’s World Cup debut with a creditable 2-0 defeat to Switzerland at Dunedin Stadium on Friday.
Alen 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.
Hamilton: Japan will tread with caution when they meet Zambia in their opening FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group C match at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday.
The 2011 winners are determined to kick off on a high but head coach Futoshi Ikeda is fully aware of the threat debutants Zambia pose.
Their 2011 triumph was followed by a runners-up finish four years later but a transitional period saw Japan eliminated by the Netherlands in the Round of 16 four years ago and the East Asian side are determined to regain their lost glories in Australia & New Zealand.
Auckland: Skipper Huynh Nhu has called on her teammates to remember their sacrifices ahead of their FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group E opener against the United States on Saturday.
The tie against the defending champions at Auckland's Eden Park will see Vietnam making their World Cup bow and Huynh Nhu said she hopes their appearance will spark the development of the game in the Southeast Asian nation.
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.
Melbourne: Christine Sinclair had a penalty saved as Olympic champions Canada were held 0-0 in their Group B opener by Nigeria, who saw Deborah Abiodun pick up the first red card of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 on Friday.
The 40-year-old skipper Sinclair is hoping to make history in Australia and New Zealand by becoming the first player to score at six World Cups.