Matildas player ratings: See which Australian stars struggled and who held their own in disastrous Women’s World Cup defeat to Nigeria
- Hosts fell to shock 3-1 loss to heavy underdogs
- Horror mistake in defence cost Aussies dearly
- Daily Mail Australia rates every Matildas player
After a bright start that saw the Matildas look very dangerous as they created a string of chances, disaster struck as the Super Falcons equalised just on the stroke of the main break, then ran away with the match in the second half.
Daily Mail Australia has rated how every player performed in easily the biggest shock of the tournament so far – with few of the Aussies acquitting themselves well.
Disbelieving Matildas players look on after one of Nigeria’s three goals, in a result that is the biggest shock of the tournament so far.
Caitlin Foord: 6.5
Shouldered a lot of the load, and didn’t exactly appear to relish it. Did set up the opening goal with a brilliant pass, but too often didn’t cross when the time required it, instead opting to take the defence on. Look very frustrated throughout the second half and desperately needs Fowler and Kerr back so she isn’t completely marked out of the game.
Emily Van Egmond: 8
What a brilliant addition after Fowler’s withdrawal. Her finish to net the opening goal was everything we know about the unflappable veteran. Just perfectly guided it after perfect positioning, and then continued to be one of the only Australians who could manage a good first touch. Retains her position, surely.
Hayley Raso: 7
Ran hard all day, challenged the Nigerian defence on multiple occasions and was better at right back than Carpenter was – such was her huge workload, effort and desire.
Cortnee Vine: 5.5
A couple of threatening runs at the start of the game promised much, but after a very heavy tackle she completely faded out of the game and sadly did not look great with the ball at her feet. She has been so dangerous in the lead-up to this tournament and it feels like the rest of the team’s lack of confidence is rubbing off on her.
A jubilant Emily Van Egmond celebrates scoring the opening goal, one of the few bright spots for Australia
Katrina Gorry: 7.5
As always, ran all day and was the bulldog the side needed. Had a couple of heavy touches, but her work-rate was able to overcome that. She generated a couple of chances from the top of the box and just needed a few of her teammates to put in as much effort as she did.
Kyra Cooney-Cross: 7.5
The youngster just gets better and better. An absolute rock in the centre of the park, and she looked very composed with some clever balls for her teammates, particularly in the attacking third. Can hold her head high.
Steph Catley: 6.5
Was very dangerous in the first half with her set pieces, and almost netted the opener after a brilliant effort. Faded in the second half, but wasn’t as much of a liability in defence as some of her teammates, though was opened up a coupleof times.
Ellie Carpenter: 3
Ellie Carpenter was almost inconceivably bad at right back against Nigeria, her worst performance in a green and gold shirt. That’s despite being, arguably, one of the world’s best fullbacks and a two-time Champions League winner
Pre-tournament you would have said she was in the top three for the best right back in the world. Can’t remember her ever playing this poor in green and gold. What’s happened? So many heavy touches in attack, teammates began to stop using her and often opened up by the dangerous Rasheedat Ajibade. My goodness Australia need to get her back to her world-class best. Flummoxing couple of games from the fan favourite. She looked very emotional after the game.
Clare Hunt: 5
Constantly under-pressure, and was unfortunately her worst performance in gold – though she certainly was safer than her partner Alanna Kennedy.
Alanna Kennedy: 4
A devastated Alanna Kennedy wonders what on earth just happened after Australia’s loss
This was a three before her late goal, but it can’t be more than a 4 because she was directly responsible for the match-winner after a huge error and was very uncharacteristically poor all throughout the game.
Mackenzie Arnold: 4.5
Not her best night. Her poor parry set up Nigeria’s second goal, and was caught in no man’s land when Kennedy tried to head back to her. She has been an absolute rock between the sticks this year, but will have a few nightmares tonight.
Clare Polkinghorne: 5
Bizarrely subbed on with Australia down two goals for Vine, though Kennedy did spend a bit of time at striker once ‘Polks’ came on. A couple of heavy touches but looked calmer than the rest of the defence, which resembled a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off at times.
Alex Chidiac: 6
Why on earth was she not brought on earlier? Her trademark attacking style immediately made an impact and she took the defence on straight away with her brilliant dribbling, and managed to generate a number of chances. Diabolical she wasn’t allowed to play more of a role.