2023 Women's World Cup Match Day 1 - Co-hosts look for a winning start
Throughout July and August, 91.3 SportFM and The WA Electric Company will bring you all the latest scores, updates and breaking news from the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™.
Match Day 1 Group A New Zealand v Norway Eden Park - Auckland 15:00 WST
The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup is finally here and we have two monster fixtures featuring co-hosts Australia and New Zealand on Match Day 1. A bumper crowd is expected in Auckland for the tournament opener as New Zealand kick-off their world cup campaign against Norway. The sole representative of the Oceanian confederation, the Football Ferns will be participating in their sixth Women's World Cup and will hope a passionate Eden Park crowd can help them get off to a winning start. The 26th-ranked Kiwis are yet to progress to the knockout phase of a World Cup and will look to go at least one better in front of their parochial, home fans.
The good news story for New Zealand will be surrounding defender Rebecca Stott, who in 2021 was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Following a year of treatment, Stott announced she was cancer free and made her return to football and was selected to represent the Kiwi side at her home World Cup.
It's been a mixed lead up for the Football Ferns heading into the tournament with a 2-nil win over Vietnam which followed with a 1-nil loss to Italy. New Zealand will look to the experienced head of Hannah Wilkinson to lead the line. For the Norwegians, many eyes will be on 2018 Ballon D'or winner Ada Hegeberg. The striker possessing a phenomenal goal scoring ratio of more than one goal every two matches for her national team. The 12th-ranked Norwegians will be heavy favourites to finish top of Group A and despite having the crowd to deal with, should ease past the Kiwis.
Match Day 1 Group B Australia v Rep. Ireland Stadium Australia - Sydney 18:00 WST
Expectations will be sky high for Australia's Matildas as they head into Match Day 1 against the Republic of Ireland. It’s been an almost faultless preparation for the Matildas who have won eight out of their last nine matches including impressive wins over the highly ranked England, Spain and France. Injury concerns still linger around veteran Midfielder Tameka Yallop but overall the Matilda's will enter the tournament with a clean bill of health. Questions still remain about player selections in what will look to be a flat back-four.
Australia will be looking to better their quarter-finals achievements in 2007, 2011 and 2015 and will draw on their disappointing Round of 16 exit in 2019. The Republic of Ireland will be competing in their first ever FIFA Women's World Cup. Following a less-than-ideal build-up which included a 3-nil loss to France as well as the recent abandonment of their friendly against Colombia, Ireland may take some confidence from their last meeting with Australia which saw the Irish team come away with a 3-2 win in 2021. Injury concerns which surrounded midfielder Denise O'Sullivan seem to have calmed and the midfielder looks set to feature according to coach Vera Pauw. In what has been dubbed the 'Group of Death' both teams will be out to get off to a winning start.