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  • Writer's pictureBethany Barker

Record breakers, Debuts, Injuries and Returns

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Day two of the Women's world cup has ended so here's a recap of all the memorable moments of the first opening days

Friday 21st July 2023


This World Cup will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand for the first time and will welcome 32 nations, with over 1.3 million tickets sold in advance and an additional two billion television viewers expected to tune in many records could be broken for the women's game.

Day One: Yesterday saw the Women's World Cup kick-off starting with a record-breaking match which saw the Football Ferns- New Zealand- get the first-ever win at a World Cup (both male and female) in front of a record attendance of 42,137, suppressing the men's previous record of 37,000. The home team and co-hosts faced the former 1995 winners Norway in the opening match of the four-week tournament.

At forty-eight minutes Hannah Wilkinson, the Ferns' main scoring threat who holds the record for the national team, gave the home team an advantage of one, which was upheld throughout the rest of the game. Wilkinson was also the last New Zealand player to score for the Ferns at a World Cup, that goal being in 2015 against China in a 2-2 draw. The most recent goal gave the Ferns their historic win and led Ingrid Engen (Barcelona and Norway midfielder) to state, "I am not satisfied with how I performed. The defence is too low, the attack is too high and I was left alone." which Norway will be hoping to correct in their next match against Switzerland.

Speaking on the historic win, New Zealand captain, Ali Riley said, "We had a clear goal to inspire young girls, young people around this country and the world, I really think we did that tonight. Anything is possible." following the shooting in Auckland hours before the start of the match she stated, "This morning something really really tragic happened and we wanted to bring something positive tonight and we thought of the victims and the first responders and they made us so proud and we just wanted to just help bring something amazing today." With this positive step towards qualification, the Football Ferns will be looking for another burst of home support against the Philippians on Tuesday.

Later in the opening day the other hosts Australia (The Matildas) faced debutants Ireland in front of another record crowd of 75,784 with both sides having incredible support from fans; however the Matildas were without their captain and all-time record scorer, Sam Kerr, due to a calf injury picked up in training the day prior. This injury may see the Chelsea and Matildas forward missing the team's first two group games. However, even without their captain, the Matildas stepped up to the opening group game, Steph Cately converted the winner in the fifty-second minute from a penalty after Marissa Sheva pushed Hayley Raso.

Throughout the whole game, the Matildas were frustrated by an organised Irish defence who held just 29% possession but gave away twelve fouls. However, their debut in the competition was praised by Steph Cately in her post-match interview where she stated, "We were nervy and probably didn’t play as calmly as we normally do and Ireland were fantastic. They put us under pressure, played their corners really well and fair play to them. There were nervy moments we will look to clean up further in the tournament." Australia will next play Nigeria and look to retain the three points to allow them to qualify out of the group stages.

The Matildas are joining the Football Ferns in making history as Nike confirms they have sold more of the team's official jerseys ahead of this summer's tournament than the Socceroos (the men's national team) managed both during and since their world cup last year. Ashley Reade, Nike Pacific's boss, has stated that he believes the marketing potential for the women's team is potentially greater than the men's as of now a big part of which is down to star striker Sam Kerr (pictured to the left).

Day Two:

The tournament's second day started with a nile-nile draw between Olympic champions Canada and Nigeria. It was followed by a Switzerland victory (2-0) against newcomers, the Philippines, which saw Ramona Bachman (Paris Saint-Germain forward, pictured below) become the country's all-time top goalscorer.

The last game of the day was Spain v. Costa Rica which saw the Spanish team not only win 3-0 with goals coming from Del Campo (OG), Bonmati and Gonzalez; the dominant Spanish team came out of this game with a new World Cup record for shots in a game, with 46 alongside a possession rate of 80% and 117 touches within Costa Rica's box. This game also marked Costa Rica's return to this tournament for the first time in eight years where their team was mainly comprised of non-professional players who proved their talent by preventing the heavyweights of Spain- including Ballon d'Or winner and Barcelona midfielder, Alexia Putellas- from scoring in the second half.

Costa Rica was not the only returner to the tournament, as previously mentioned Alexias Putellas made her return to the world cup stage after tearing her left anterior cruciate ligament 10 months ago. The midfielder is yet to play a full 90-minute game since her return however, Jorge Vilda​ has stated he is confident with his superstar midfielder.

How the first two days ended:

New Zealand
























Costa Rica

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