The dominant narrative round Australia throughout group play of the 2023 Girls’s World Cup was already who wasn’t enjoying for the group. Sadly, that narrative simply deepened.
The match co-host will face Nigeria in its second match on Thursday with out ahead Mary Fowler and defender Aivi Luik after the 2 sustained gentle concussions in separate incidents throughout apply on Tuesday, the Matildas introduced.
Fowler and Luik have reportedly each “absolutely recovered” and begun the group’s graduated return to play protocol, nevertheless it will not be fast sufficient to face Nigeria.
Australia was already with out captain and all-time main scorer Sam Kerr, who will miss a minimum of another match as a consequence of a pre-tournament calf damage. There had truly been some confusion courtesy of midfielder Kyra Cooney-Cross that Kerr may need torn her calf, which might all however finish her match earlier than it started, however Australia later clarified that wasn’t the case.
With Kerr out, Australia began Fowler, who performs for Manchester Metropolis, at striker of their 1-0 match opener in opposition to Eire. The lone objective got here on a penalty kick from Steph Catley, who was carrying the captain’s armband rather than Kerr, however the Matildas solely generated two pictures on track in the entire match. They may now need to discover a third possibility up entrance, however just for the Nigeria match if the federation’s outlook is to be believed.
Nigeria performed Canada to a scoreless attract its personal opener.