In-Form Foord Fires Matildas To Superb Win

Australia 4-0 Sweden (12/11/22)

Report by Ben Gilby with EXCLUSIVE photos from Kieran Chea at AAMI Park

Above: Celebrations for Australia after Sam Kerr put them ahead. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.

Two goals from Caitlin Foord steered Australia to only their second-ever win over Sweden yesterday.

The Arsenal attacker’s brace was added to by strikes from Sam Kerr and Mary Fowler as The Matildas beat the world number two-ranked nation, who had only lost once in 20 matches going into the encounter.

Above: Sam Kerr and Nathalie Björn contest possession. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.

Whilst the Swedes will point to their missing attackers Kosovare Asllani, Lina Hurtig, and Fridolina Rolfö, the Matildas were also without key players Ellie Carpenter, Kyah Simon, and Alanna Kennedy. Regardless, this was a hugely impressive outcome for Tony Gustavsson’s team.

Australia had the first opportunity as Kyra Cooney-Cross got through and won a corner. Kerr headed wide from the set piece.

Above: Johanna Rytting Kaneryd stuck the woodwork for Sweden. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.

Overall, Sweden were the strongest side in the opening 45. Johanna Rytting Kaneryd hit the angle of post and bar, and Clare Polkinghorne was forced to clear the ball off the line.

The visitors were able to nullify the threat of Cooney-Cross and Cortnee Vine for most of the opening half, but that would change in some style after the break. Australia were finding it challenging to produce the final ball as they closed in on the Swedish goal and with Madelen Janogy hugely influential across the front line and in her ability to drop both deep and wide, it was the Scandinavians who had the upper hand.

Above: Sweden’s Madelen Janogy (second left) had an influential first half. Kieran Chea for Impetus.

However, the one thing that Sweden couldn’t do is get on the scoresheet. They were made to pay eight minutes before the break when a typically marauding run from Hayley Raso ended with the Manchester City winger finding Kerr in the box to poke home.

Australia were red-hot from the kick-off of the second half and didn’t let up. Putting Gustavsson’s mantra of fast-paced pressing attacking football into action, Raso’s backheel released Cooney-Cross who in turn found Foord. The Arsenal star is in career-best form and cut inside to steer a sensational shot into the corner of the net.

Above: Cortnee Vine looks to square the ball across the box. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.

Confidence coursed through the Matildas and Cooney-Cross, loudly supported by the Melbourne Victory fans that idolised her in this very stadium during her A-League Women spell was all over it. Those on-point switches of play were back and a joy to see as the 20-year-old gun mixed it and prospered against the world’s second-ranked side.

It could have been three when, from a corner, Kerr flicked a header across to Raso who couldn’t quite direct her shot on target, with the ball dribbling agonisingly wide by centimetres.

Her Manchester City teammate Mary Fowler came on just after the hour mark and within 10 minutes put the Matildas’ fans in dreamland when her angled shot deflected into the net.

Above: Katrina Gorry’s eyes up the ball. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.

Foord made it 4-0 with 12 minutes remaining with substitute Emily van Egmond claiming an assist.

This was Australia’s first win over Sweden since 1997. It also extended their present winning run to three matches, with 11 goals scored in those matches. With Thailand to follow in Gosford on Tuesday, all is set for a celebratory evening on the Central Coast as the Matildas end their campaign for 2022 before moving into a home World Cup year.

Above: The Matildas post match. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.

Teams: AUSTRALIA: Micah, Nevin, Polkinghorne, Vine (Fowler 64′), Catley, Foord (Crummer 82′), Raso, Gorry, Kerr, Grant (Luik 83′), Cooney-Cross (van Egmond 75′).

Scorers: Kerr 37′, Foord 51′, 78′. Fowler 73′.

SWEDEN: Mušović, Kullberg, Sembrant, Björn, Andersson, Bennison, Janogy, Rubensson, Rytting Kaneryd, Jakobsson.

Attendance: 22,065.

More of Kieran Chea’s exclusive photos from AAMI Park:

Above: Stina Blackstenius on the charge for Sweden. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.
Above: Steph Catley clears the danger. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.
Above: Charli Grant looks to get free. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.
Above: Surging forward and looking for the pass – Charli Grant. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.
Above: Over 22,000 packed into AAMI Park today. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.
Above: Australia head coach Tony Gustavsson watches on. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.
Above: Teagan Micah celebrates a second-half goal. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.
Above: United in concentration (left to right) Clare Polkinghorne, Sam Kerr, and Hayley Raso. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.
Above: Two-goal hero Caitlin Foord speaks to the media after the game. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.
Above: Matildas fans roar on their team. Photo: Kieran Chea for Impetus.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: