Nigeria and Australia will play in Brisbane on Thursday in their second game of this year’s edition of the Women’s World Cup
The Super Falcons of Nigeria will renew their hostility with the Matildas of Australia in the Women’s World Cup seven years after their last meeting in Canada in 2015.
On that day, in Winnipeg, Australia rallied to claimed a 2-0 victory and progressed to the knockout stages at the expense of the African side. They are now set to clash again on the global stage with a place in the second round of this year’s Women’s World Cup at stake.
Australia began their campaign in this year’s Women’s World Cup with a victory over the Republic of Ireland, while Nigeria had to settled for a draw against Canada. The Matildas will be missing some key players for their clash with the nine-time African champions, but they still possess some good players in their squad that can deputies for those that will be missing out in Brisbane.
Ahead of this vital clash between the two footballing nations, Soccernet.ng profiles the key players that could cause one or two problems for Waldrum’s side on Thursday
Caitlin Jade Foord plays her club football with Arsenal in the English Women’s Super League. She is Australia’s youngest player at the World Cup after making her debut appearance in the 2011 edition of the tournament at just age 16. Foord will be the main target upfront against the Falcons, as her strike partner Sam Kerr is already ruled out of their clash against Nigeria.
Another key player in the Australian squad is Gorry. The 30-year-old has been ever-present for the Matildas since making her debut in 2012. She plays at club level for Vittsjo GIK in Sweden, and is a dangerous player that Waldrum and his troops need to keep their eyes on in the midfield.
Catley is a versatile player who can operate in different positions in defense, such as left-back, centre-back or wing-back. The 29-year-old is another key player for the Matildas, and has been with Arsenal in English WSL since 2020. She converted the penalty that gave Australia their slim victory over Ireland in their first game of this year’s World Cup.
Raso, who recently completed a move from Manchester City to Real Madrid is a talented winger. She’s another key player for the Matildas and has been ever-present with the team since 2012.
Mackenzie Arnold is one of the rated goalkeepers in the English Women’s Super League. She’s the current first choice for both West Ham United Women’s team and the Australia national team. Arnold was helpful in helping the Matildas secured a clean sheet in the first game against Ireland.