If you follow along with the Women’s World Cup, you might know that Australia is one of the best teams in the world, as they are currently ranked sixth. As a result of their ranking (and success in past World Cups), they are one of a few favorites to take home the World Cup trophy this year.
That quest to take home the trophy hit a brick wall on Sunday, June 19, as the Matildas lost a tough 2-1 game to the Italian National Team. The Italian women are ranked 15th in the world, and the loss by Australia, while considered to be a surprise, was a loss to a good team.
What went wrong for “The Matildas?” Not much, outside of the late goal from Italy. Australia outshot Italy 17-5, with five of their 17 shots on goal. The lone goal that Australia scored was from forward Sam Kerr, who put one in the back of the net only 22 minutes into the game. Australia also controlled possession, 57% to 43%. Australia only received one yellow card to Italy’s three.
On the other hand, the Australian team was not very disciplined (neither was Italy, as they had 20 fouls (Italy had 19). Australia’s goalkeeper, Lydia Williams, only had two saves, which was impressive considering she only faced three shots on goal.
You could make the case that the phrase “It is not how you start, it is how you finish” came into play during Sunday’s match. After Italy was goalless in the first half, midfielder Barbara Bonansea scored two second-half goals: one at the 56th minute, and one at the 95th minute in extra time. Australia, while continuing to pressure Italy in the second half, could not find that go-ahead goal, and Italy made them pay.
Australia will look to put this loss behind them, as they take on another World Cup favorite, Brazil, on Thursday, June 13 at 12 P.M. noon. Italy, in the meantime, will look to capitalize on their first World Cup appearance since the last century (1999) as they take on Jamaica on Friday, June 14 at 12 P.M. noon.
24 teams, one trophy. You all are in for a treat with the 2019 Women’s World Cup.