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Women’s World Cup: Australia finding their rhythm after downing Denmark

Confidence appears to be growing in the Australia camp as the co-hosts progressed to the Women's World Cup quarter-finals with an impressive 2-0 win over Denmark on Monday.

Having been given a scare in the group stages with a 3-2 defeat to Nigeria, the Matlidas have responded well and there were plenty of positives to take from their win over the Danes going into the quarter-finals.

Aussies showing clinical touch

Having just the three shots on target in their last-16 showdown with Denmark at Stadium Australia, scoring two goals was an excellent return for the hosts in Sydney.

Caitlin Foord managed to open the scoring in the 29th minute with a neat finish from a difficult angle after a fine pass from Mary Fowler.

Australia, who had 44% possession over the course of the game, really put the result to bed in the 70th minute when Emily van Egmond’s good work saw Hayley Raso finish to make it 2-0.

The goals came after what was a somewhat sluggish start from Australia but despite Denmark looking threatening, the Matildas soon settled into the contest and produced what was a fine performance.

They will need to be at it from the off going forward though, as stronger sides will punish teams early if they are not at the races from the first whistle.

However, it was a performance that will give head coach Tony Gustavsson plenty to smile about, as Australia, who are 7.50 to win the World Cup, prepare to face either France or Morocco for their quarter-final at Lang Park in Brisbane.  

Defence continues to stand firm

Having kept two clean sheets in the group stage against the Republic of Ireland and Canada, Australia managed to shut out their third team in this World Cup on Tuesday.

A strong defence will go a long way in deciding who is crowned world champions and Gustavsson will be pleased with how his side have been defending from top to bottom.

The 3-2 defeat to Nigeria appears to have been a blip in an otherwise positive tournament from a defensive perspective.

Matildas handed Kerr boost

The win over Denmark also saw Australia’s record scorer and captain Sam Kerr come on with just 10 minutes of the contest remaining.

Kerr suffered a calf injury on the eve of the World Cup and was forced to watch from the sidelines through the group games.

Getting a run out at Stadium Australia to a standing ovation will have come as a massive boost to Kerr and her teammates.

The Matildas star impressed in her cameo appearance in the last actions of the game in Sydney and she might well get a starting role in the highly-anticipated quarter-final on 12th August in Brisbane.

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