Kyah Simon scored two goals to lead Australia past Nigeria in the second round of Group D play in front of 32,716 at Winnipeg Stadium in Manitoba at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Simon opened up the scoring in the 29th minute after making a diagonal run behind the Nigerian defense and ran onto a Lisa De Vanna pass.
Australian head coach Alen Stajcic made three changes to the lineup from the team’s opening match against the United States. Goalkeeper Lydia Williams got the start, Alanna Kennedy made the start at center back, pushing Steph Catley out to left back to combat Nigeria’s speed on the flanks wVhile moving Caitlin Foord to right back, and Kyah Simon was inserted up top for Michelle Heyman.
Nigeria, coming off a come-from-behind draw with Sweden, was not without its chances, however, but a lack of clinical finishing stymied the Super Falcons all game long as well as an Australian defense that stayed organized.
In the second half, Sam Kerr found an unmarked Simon at the back post in the 68h minute with a lofted cross. Simon buried the close-range shot to seal the win for Australia.
Kerr would go down late in the second half after being elbowed in the jaw by Ugo Njoku. The referee didn’t see it and no foul was called.
With the win, Australia picks up its first points of the tournament and is currently in second place in the group. The Matildas face a winless Sweden on June 16 in Edmonton.
Nigeria faces the United States on June 16 in Vancouver, and will need three points to have any chance of advancing out of the group.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Lisa De Vanna (Australia)
All images courtesy of Cynthia Hobgood.
[divider]About the Photographer[/divider]
Cynthia Hobgoodis a Washington, DC-based digital communications consultant, photographer and writer. Hobgood started covering soccer as a journalist in 2000 for weekly/daily publications and ultimately, the Associated Press (while also covering other pro and NCAA sports primarily in the DC area.) She previously helped launch a national youth sports nonprofit and started Full 90 Communications earlier this year. Hobgood has a master’s degree in sports management from The George Washington University School of Business and master of arts degree in English from Baylor University.