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Co-Hosts Australia beat Denmark to secure last eight spot

Sam Kerr makes her return to the side as the Matilda’s breezed past Denmark to book their place in the quarter finals of the 2023 Women’s World Cup

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 07: Sam Kerr of Australia puts her hands up to the crowd at full time during the Women s World Cup round of 16 football match between the Australia Matildas and Denmark at Stadium Australia on August 07, 2023 in Sydney, Australia.

The Matildas delivered a memorable performance at a packed Stadium Australia, securing their spot in the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup with a clinical victory over Denmark in the last 16. Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso were the heroines of the match, scoring vital goals to ensure Australia’s historic progress in the tournament.

The match started with both teams showing resilience and determination, but it was Australia who drew first blood. In the 29th minute, Mary Fowler‘s exquisite pass found Caitlin Foord, who displayed great composure to finish from a tight angle, sending the home crowd into a frenzy of celebration.

Fired up by their lead, the Matildas continued to dominate the proceedings, with Foord proving to be a constant threat to the Danish defense. Her efforts almost led to another goal, as her shot deflected off Denmark defender Rikke Sevecke and narrowly missed the target.

After the break, Denmark tried to mount a comeback, but it was Australia who once again demonstrated their prowess on the counter-attack. In the 70th minute, Foord broke down the left flank and delivered a pinpoint pass to Emily van Egmond. The latter’s exquisite assist set up Hayley Raso, who made no mistake and confidently slotted home her third goal of the tournament.

Sam Kerr returns for Australia

With a two-goal cushion, Australia’s head coach, Tony Gustavsson, made a calculated substitution, bringing on captain Sam Kerr to a standing ovation from the crowd. Despite not adding to the scoreline, Kerr’s presence on the pitch bolstered the team’s confidence and showcased the depth of talent in the Australian squad.

Denmark, playing in their first World Cup since 2007, fought hard to find a way back into the game. Pernille Harder, the former Chelsea midfielder, had a golden opportunity to equalize in the 16th minute but saw her shot saved by Australia’s keeper, Mackenzie Arnold.

Despite having more possession, Denmark struggled to create clear-cut chances against a resolute Australian defense. Their hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals were ultimately dashed as the minutes ticked away.

Australia’s triumph marks only the second time in their history that they have reached the last eight at the Women’s World Cup. With their formidable performance in this match, they have set their sights on achieving even greater heights in the tournament.

Looking ahead, Australia will eagerly await the outcome of the clash between France and Morocco on Tuesday to discover their quarter-final opponents. With their confidence soaring and momentum on their side, the Matildas are sure to be a formidable challenge for any team in the tournament.

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