Following a very rare defeat at home against Chile (3-2) in Penrith last Saturday, the Matildas have taken brutal revenge in Newcastle on Tuesday with a 5-0 second half thrashing of their rivals from across the Pacific. Caitlin Foord was the spark for Australia, scoring a hat-trick herself and setting up Sam Kerr for the opening goal.
In the first half the Matilda’s looked like the more threatening side but were unable to break the Chilean defence, in a repeat of the Penrith loss. Shortly after half-time, however, Foord finally broke through to set Kerr up for the first goal of the match. A minute later she was set up for her first goal herself, slamming the ball into the net in a great finishing play.
Now 2-0 up due to two brilliant plays in two minutes, the Matildas looked to pile on the pain against a broken Chile. Foord found herself in with a chance at a long range shot after an intercept and she took it, slamming the ball into the corner if the goal as if she had it on a string.
Replacement Emily Gielnik found some luck with a long range shot of her own before Foord, fittingly, ended proceedings with another outstanding finishing shot in the 89th minute. The second half rout was a fitting response for the shock loss in Penrith, and will have renewed faith that the Australian team are among the best in the world.
The Matildas are the 6th best women’ s football team in the world, according to FIFA rankings, while Chile are 39th. With 177 teams included in the rankings this makes them more evenly matched than the rankings would appear. As the men’s World Cup showed, in international football rankings often mean very little, especially within the top 50 sides.