Just Women’s Sports is here with your daily World Cup Digest, breaking down all of the biggest storylines from each day of action in Australia and New Zealand.
Sam Kerr’s status remains in doubt after Australia’s first two group-stage matches as she continues to nurse a calf injury. And with Mary Fowler and Kyah Simon also out of Thursday’s game against Nigeria, the African squad took full advantage in a 3-2 win.
While Emily van Egmond struck first to give Australia a 1-0 lead, Uchenna Kanu netted an equalizer five minutes later. From there, it was all Nigeria, with Osinachi Ohale and Asisat Oshoala also getting on the scoresheet. The end result? An impressive victory for Nigeria, and a precarious position for Australia heading into its final group-stage match.
With the win, Nigeria holds the top spot in Group B, followed by Canada. Both teams have four points, while Australia sits in third with three.
So the Matildas face a must-win match against Canada at 6 a.m. ET Monday if they want to advance to the knockout stage. The winner of that match would clinch a spot in the round of 16. If Canada loses, it would need Ireland to beat Nigeria in order to advance; if Australia loses, the Matildas are eliminated.
If Canada and Australia tie, then Canada would advance to the knockout rounds and Australia would need a Nigeria loss and a favorable tiebreaker in order to advance. Realistically, that sets up Monday’s clash as win or go home for the World Cup co-hosts.
After a testy exchange during the U.S. women’s national team’s 1-1 draw with the Netherlands, Lindsey Horan and her Lyon teammate (but Netherlands foe) Danielle van de Donk made nice in the mixed media area.
The two nearly got into it during the match after van de Donk delivered a hard hit to Horan, after which the USWNT midfielder cursed her club teammate, calling her a “f—ing b—-.” Almost immediately afterward, Horan scored the game-tying goal, following Julie Ertz’s instruction to score and “shut everyone up.”
“I don’t think you ever want to get me mad because I don’t react in a good way,” Horan said. “Usually, I just go and I want something more. I want to win more. I want to score more. I want to do more for my team.”
“Between me and Lindsey, nothing happened,” van de Donk told reporters. “Someone got very angry at me!”
Even before the match, Horan expected her teammate to get chippy. But she didn’t mind it.
“You get trash talk every single day from Dan van de Donk,” she said. “And once we play them, you’ll see it. She’ll be coming for my ankles like every single play, so watch out for that. That will be fun.”
Find someone who looks at you the way Danielle van de Donk looks at Lindsey Horan while wearing a swim cap due to bleeding after scrapping for 90+ minutes pic.twitter.com/gkEx7tYYwG— Claire Watkins (@ScoutRipley) July 27, 2023
Find someone who looks at you the way Danielle van de Donk looks at Lindsey Horan while wearing a swim cap due to bleeding after scrapping for 90+ minutes pic.twitter.com/gkEx7tYYwG