Australia took on Equatorial Guinea in a Group D match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Stadium, Bochum today and registered a 3-2 win against their African opponents.
Australia’s coach Tom Sermanni made five changes to his starting line-up with keeper Lydia Williams replacing skipper Melissa Barbieri being the most notable one.
Both teams desperately needed a win to keep in contention for a quarterfinal spot. The “Matiladas” looked the better side in the early minutes of the game, as the Africans played a more defensive game.
The Australians took an early lead with their very first attempt on goal in the 8th minute. The “Matiladas” intercepted a clearance by Equatorial Guinea in midfield and quickly delivered a ball to the box. Heather Garriock fired a shot on target only to see it saved by keeper Miriam. But Miriam had no chance to stop the rebound taken by Sydney FC striker Leena Khamis. Khamis shot went in to give Australia a vital 1-0 lead.
Leena Khamis almost added a second goal to her tally in the 16th minute when she received a cross from the left flank and hit the left post with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box. Australia should have been awarded a penalty as Equatorial Guinea’s defender Bruna snatched the rebound with her hands and played it back to her goalkeeper. But for any reason referee Gyoengyi Gaal and her assistants didn’t spot the infringement. [CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO]
Equatorial Guinea had their first chance of the match three minutes later, when a left-footed shot by skipper Anonman missed the target.
But Anonman had a reason to cheer just two minutes later as she played some pressing on Australia’s Servet Uzunlar and forced her opponent to a mistake. Anonman collected the ball and slotted it in to the goal past a chanceless Lydia Williams in the 21st minute.
The match seemed to be on par after the goal, but Australia had more possession and they pushed forward on several occasions to cause some problems to the Equatorial Guinean defence.
Keeper Miriam saved a right-footed shot from the centre of the box by Emily van Egmond in the 27th minute, while Leena Khamis headed a Collette McCallum free kick from the left side over the crossbar two minutes later.
Equatorial Guinea was lucky not to concede a second goal, when Dulcia commited a foul on Australia’s Khamis at the edge of area. Collette McCallum took the resulting free kick and her direct free kick hit the crossbar in the 43rd minute.
The second half started with an on-fire Australian team, which scored a goal in the 48th minute to take the lead. Khamis received a good ball down the left flank and delivered a well-timed cross to the Equatorial Guinean box. Emily van Egmond volleyed the ball into the net to give her team a 2-1 lead.
And the “Matildas” were quick to add a third goal to their tally just a few moments later, when they intercepted a pass by Equatorial Guinea and Collette McCallum delivered a long ball to the box. Substitute Lisa de Vanna made no mistake and put the ball past an on-rushing Miriam to make it 3-1 in the 51st minute.
Australia was in full control of the match after the quick brace and Equatorial Guinea had no proper reply to the Aussie dominance.
Skipper Anonman attempted a shot from outside the box in the 71st minute, but Aussie keeper Williams came up with a great save to clear the situation.
The “Matildas” were too confident of their win and allowed the Africans to pull one goal back in the 83rd minure. The goal could be described as a carbon copy of Anonman’s first goal. The Equatorial Guinea striker once again utilized a defence error by Servet Uzunlar and scored to reduce the margin.
The Aussie girls unnecessarily gave some moral uplift to the Africans and they were lucky not to concede the equaliser in the dying minutes of the match.
Australia won the match 3-2 and collected three vital points to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive.
Group D – Matchday 8
Australia 3-2 Equatorial Guinea
1-0 Leena KHAMIS (8′)
1-1 ANONMAN (21′)
2-1 Emily VAN EGMOND (48′)
3-1 Lisa DE VANNA (51′)
3-2 ANONMAN (83′)
FIFA Women’s World Cup Stadium, Bochum
18-Lydia WILLIAMS; 3-Kim CARROLL, 8-Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 10-Servet UZUNLAR; 7-Heather GARRIOCK, 12-Emily VAN EGMOND, 14-Collette McCALLUM [C] (78′ 4-Clare POLKINGHORNE), 15-Sally SHIPARD (46′ 11-Lisa DE VANNA), 16-Lauren COLTHORPE; 19-Leena KHAMIS, 20-Samantha KERR (69′ 2-Teigen ALLEN)
1-Melissa BARBIERI, 5-Laura ALLEWAY, 6-Ellyse PERRY, 9-Caitlin FOORD, 13-Tameka BUTT, 17-Kyah SIMON, 21-Casey DUMONT
1-MIRIAM, 2-BRUNA (82′ 21-LAETITIA), 3-DULCIA, 4-CAROLINA; 5-ANA CRISTINA, 6-VANIA, 9-DORINE, 10-ANONMAN [C], 14-JUMARIA (66′ 12-SINFOROSA), 15-CHINASA (57′ 17-ADRIANA); 7-DIALA
8-EMILIANA, 11-NATALIA, 13-YAO, 16-LUCRECIA, 18-MARIA ROSA, 19-FATOUMATA, 20-CHRISTELLE
Gyoengyi GAAL (HUN)
Cristina CINI (ITA), Natalie ASPINALL (ENG)
41′ ANONMAN (Equatorial Guinea)
46′ ANA CRISTINA (Equatorial Guinea)
72′ Lisa DE VANNA (Australia)
79′ SINFOROSA (Equatorial Guinea)