With one defeat apiece in the their Group C campaigns, Australia and Equatorial Guinea come face to face, both needing the three points that will keep them in the FIFA Women’s World Cup™.
Australia-Equatorial Guinea, 3 July, 14.00 (local time), Bochum
The two sides have never met before at any level of the women’s game, though Australia do have prior experience of African teams at a FIFA Women’s World Cup. On three occasions, the Matildas have run up against Ghana, with one win, one draw and one defeat to show for their efforts.
Australia's overall FIFA Women's World Cup record makes interesting reading. Though they have qualified for every edition of the tournament except the inaugural one in 1991, their maiden win only came in 2007, when they beat Ghana 4-1 in their opening game. That year they went on to reach the quarter-finals, where they went down 3-2 to Brazil in a close-fought encounter.
This is Equatorial Guinea’s first appearance at this event, and given their excellent performance in their 1-0 defeat to Norway, they will be confident of their ability to pick up the points. Norway may have beaten them, but their African opponents certainly made them sweat, getting off 20 shots during the course of the match.
1 – The number of players on either side that play professional football in Europe. In the Australian corner there is Heather Garriock, who lines out for Swedish side Malmo, while Equatorial Guinea’s star Anonman plies her trade for Jena in Germany.
“We’re looking forward to this match. Being here at this tournament is fantastic and this game is very important to us. I expect it to be tough and I hope we come out of it with the chance to qualify for the quarter-finals,” Australia coach Tom Sermanni.
“Australia are powerful, quick and well-organised. We know a fair bit about them: they play in a highly competitive league so they’ve got some talented players. But we’ll be ready for them tomorrow,” Equatorial Guinea coach Marcelo Frigerio.