Australia 2-3 Nigeria: Women’s World Cup player ratings

<span>Photograph: Katie Tucker/AP</span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/zXy7JjPciVqUWkGIz.OZ2g–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/5c7f85559af91f8506fd3882dc6af1c8″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/zXy7JjPciVqUWkGIz.OZ2g–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/5c7f85559af91f8506fd3882dc6af1c8″></img></p>
</div>
</div>
<p><figcaption><span>Photograph: Katie Tucker/AP</span></figcaption></p>
</figure>
<h2>Australia</h2>
<p><strong>Mackenzie Arnold</strong> A few nervy moments. Nothing she could have done to stop Nigeria’s equaliser just before the break, but she could have done better to thwart their second in the 65th minute and the third was down to miscommunication between her and Alanna Kennedy. <strong>5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Steph Catley </strong>Lively, particularly in the opening 20 minutes, racking up the corners and powered a fierce effort that had Nigeria’s goalkeeper diving low to keep out. But she wasn’t immune to Australia’s defensive errors in the second half. <strong>6</strong></p>
<p><span>Related: </span>Matildas stunned by Nigeria to leave Women’s World Cup hopes in balance</p>
<p><strong>Alanna Kennedy </strong>Solid in the first half and at times played quite high up the field, but miscommunication between her and Arnold led to Nigeria’s third goal. Did well to head home a consolation goal deep into injury time. <strong>5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Clare Hunt </strong>Combined well with Kennedy, on this occasion looking far more self-assured and doing well to walk the ball out of defence. Her self-assurance was tested in the second half though, with Oshoala causing her all sorts of problems. <strong>5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Ellie Carpenter </strong>All over the game in the opening exchanges, but wasn’t at her attacking best with a few too many misplaced passes. Made some late, driving runs with minutes remaining, but nothing came of them. <strong>5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Kyra Cooney-Cross </strong>Far more prominent than she was against Ireland and showed some deft touches as she grew in confidence. Didn’t stand up against Nigeria’s second-half onslaught. <strong>5</strong></p>
<p><strong>Katrina Gorry </strong>A driving force for the Matildas in midfield. Her cushioned volley into the path of Caitlin Foord set up the Matildas opening goal. She didn’t take her foot off the pedal in the second half either. <strong>6</strong></p>
<p><strong>Emily Van Egmond </strong>More than a year between starts but her presence was crucial as she played the forward press. Calmly scored the opener minutes before the break. <strong>6</strong></p>
<figure>
<div>
<div>
<p><img alt=

Van Egmond celebrates her opening goal. Photograph: Future Publishing/Getty Images

Cortnee Vine Played further up the field as Tony Gustavsson was forced to shuffle his attack. Recovered well from a head knock to put in a decent account of herself in the first half, then replaced by Clare Polkinghorne in the second. 6

Hayley Raso Scrapped and battled away despite being on the receiving end of some hefty tackles. Energetic going forward and barely stopped running, but was replaced by Alex Chidiac late in the second half as the Matildas looked increasingly desperate. 6

Caitlin Foord Again had to adjust to a new forward line, forced by injuries. At times found herself isolated and outnumbered, but it was her time and space on the ball that eventually opened up Nigeria’s defence, resulting in Van Egmond’s goal. 6

Substitutes

Claire Polkinghorne Was Australia’s first substitution as the Matildas looked to chase the game, but in the end couldn’t change the result. 5

Alex Chidiac Had a shot on target almost immediately after coming on in the 85th minute and showed urgency in the short time she was on the field, but not enough to test Nigeria’s goalkeeper. 5

Nigeria

Chiamaka Nnadozie The 22-year-old goalkeeper was nervy as the Matildas went on the attack. Called into action on a number of occasions as the Matildas’ corner count increased, but for the most part did well to punch the ball away. 6

Ashleigh Plumptre The centre-back again filled in at left-back and enjoyed a few forays into the Matildas’ front third, though did leave her defenders scrambling to cover her when she did. Her deflected shot in the first half nearly found the back of the net. 6

Related: Australia 2-3 Nigeria: Women’s World Cup 2023 Group B – as it happened

Blessing Demehin Some mistakes crept into her game as Nigeria struggled to play the ball out of their defence, but grew in confidence with the more experienced Ohale beside her. 5

Osinachi Ohale Did well to make crucial interventions when needed and contributed to Nigeria’s plan to hit the Matildas on the break. It worked, with the defender bundling the ball into the net to give Nigeria a shock lead. 6

Osinachi Ohale bundles the ball over the line.

Osinachi Ohale bundles the ball over the line. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Michelle Alozie The US-based defender gave an energetic performance, though she did clatter into Vine on a few occasions and picked up a caution for her efforts. 5

Halimatu Ayinde Ayinde shielded Nigeria’s back four and was involved as the Super Falcons looked to turn defence into attack. More effective in the second half and her parried shot resulted in Ohale’s goal. 6

Christy Ucheibe The midfielder was physical and paired well with Toni Payne, allowing her partner the freedom to attack. 6

Toni Payne Nigeria’s midfield runner and conductor buzzed all match. Her clever runs and passes were a constant threat. Her first half display gave the Matildas a taste of what was to come. 7

Rasheedat Ajibade Formed part of Nigeria’s front three and tested Australia’s defence, particularly as the game started to open up in Nigeria’s favour in the second half. 6

Uchenna Kanu The forward replaced Asisat Oshoala in the starting lineup and made a telling impact when she slotted home the equaliserfrom close range. Made way for Oshoala in the 63rd minute. 7

Ifeoma Onumonu Tried to create some goal-scoring chances as she played further up the field. Replaced in the 63rd minute. 6

Substitutes

Asisat Oshoala The Barcelona forward completely transformed the match when she came on with around 30 minutes remaining. Her pace was an immediate threat, before she scored Nigeria’s third goal from an impossibly acute angle. 8

Glory Ogbonna Replaced Plumptre late in the game, when Nigeria were already comfortably ahead. Did well to help secure the result. 6

Jennifer Echegini Came on to replace Ayinde with just over 10 minutes remaining and with Nigeria high on confidence. 6

You might also like...