Steph Catley’s penalty helped Australia secure a close win against Ireland in the Women’s World Cup, in front of a huge crowd at home. Unfortunately, their captain Sam Kerr couldn’t play the first two matches due to an injury. Catley took her place and scored a penalty in the second half, leading Australia to a victorious start in the World Cup, with over 75,000 fans cheering them on at the Sydney Olympic Stadium.
Over the next four weeks, 32 teams will compete in 64 matches across 10 venues in Australia and New Zealand. The US Women’s National Team, having won the championship twice before, is a top contender for an unprecedented third consecutive title.
In another exciting match, New Zealand surprised everyone by defeating Norway 1-0 in the opening game at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Auckland.
The tournament’s start came shortly after a tragic shooting in Auckland, which resulted in the loss of two lives and injuries to six others. Despite this, the World Cup will continue as planned, with New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, assuring that there’s no risk to national security.
Steph Catley, the stand-in captain for Australia, faced immense pressure when she stepped up to take the decisive penalty against Ireland in the second half. She replaced the injured Sam Kerr and showed great composure as she scored from 12 yards, earning three crucial points for her team in their first World Cup match. Talking about the moment, Catley expressed her emotions, saying it was hard to put into words. The team had an exciting buildup to the game, filled with adrenaline, and had to work through some challenging moments. Even though they missed their star player, Sammy Kerr, Catley felt confident and ready to take the penalty, having discussed it with head coach Tony Gustavsson before the game.
Despite Ireland’s defeat, their fans celebrated their team’s effort in what they considered a “groundbreaking” match against Australia.