Caitlin to the fore as Matildas build impressive wall to shut out Mexico


Caitlin Foord has scored a cracking goal and assisted another to steer the Matildas to a hard-fought 2-0 win over hard-pressing Mexico in an entertaining friendly ahead of the Paris Olympics.

Foord teed up Hayley Raso to open the scoring in the ninth minute then scored a wonderful curling effort herself in the 52nd at Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas.

It’s @TheMatildas goal number 36 for Foord in her International career.
Australia leads by 2 goals to Nil over #Mexico!!
Watch the #CommbankMatildas on @Channel10AU & 10 Play!
????????????: @Ronaldingo14 #Matildas #MEXvAUS

— 10 Football (@10FootballAU) April 10, 2024

Australia actively played out from the back against the world No.31, dealing with a relentless press, with hard-running defender Ellie Carpenter working tirelessly to create opportunities.

The Matildas also learned on Wednesday AEST that Zambia will join the US and Germany in their group at the Paris Olympics, after beating Morocco 3-2 on aggregate in their qualifier.

With Clare Hunt (foot) injured, Steph Catley moved centrally and the impressive Kaitlyn Torpey started at left-back.

Emily van Egmond played in midfield alongside Kyra Cooney-Cross amid Katrina Gorry’s absence through ankle surgery.

Australia dominated possession in the opening half but had just two registered shots to Mexico’s five, with goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold kept busy.

But Australia took the lead when Foord beat her defender and squared the ball to the top of the box.

Raso turned her defender inside out and beat Mexico goalkeeper Esthefanny Barreras with a shot into the bottom corner.

“Great moment for Hayley, she does have this knack of scoring goals.”
Andy Harper on @TheMatildas Hayley Raso’s goal in the 1st Half.
Here’s the #MEXvAUS Half-Time show,
Join us for the 2nd Half on @Channel10AU & 10 Play!
???????????? #CommbankMatildas #Matildas

— 10 Football (@10FootballAU) April 10, 2024

Mexico, who beat the US in February, fired some warning shots while Foord dragged a rare Australian first-half attempt over the bar in the 42nd minute.

Australia burst out of the blocks in the second half and Mary Fowler forced Barreras into a diving save in the 48th minute.

Van Egmond skimmed another effort over the crossbar a minute later.

Then, some magic from Foord gave the Matildas some breathing room.

Foord received the ball out on the left and, guarded by Araceli Torres, shifted her weight onto her right and shuffled towards the edge of the 18-yard box.

She then stopped and propped, shimmied then wrapped her right boot around the ball to score.

Mexico’s Jasmine Casarez burst forward in the 57th minute but under pressure from Torpey, blasted wide.

Just after the hour mark, coach Tony Gustavsson turned to Cortnee Vine, Clare Wheeler and Clare Polkinghorne.

“This is exactly what we needed to prepare for the Olympics, to learn about ourselves.”@TheMatildas Coach Tony Gustavsson to 10 Football, after #Australia‘s 2-Nil victory over #Mexico.
Watch the full replay of #MEXvAUS on 10 Play!
???????????? #CommbankMatildas

— 10 Football (@10FootballAU) April 10, 2024

Vine almost immediately forced a save while Wheeler and Fowler headed over the bar in the 72nd and 78th minutes.

Mexico should have dragged a goal back late after a Cooney-Cross turnover but Casarez fired straight at Arnold.

Brisbane Roar youngster Sharn Freier debuted in the closing minutes.

Australia next play China in Adelaide on May 31, then Sydney on June 2.S

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