Australia’s FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign remains on track after an entertaining 3-2 win over Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.The Matildas struck through Leena Khamis, Emily van Egmond and Lisa De Vanna but were kept on their toes by a brace from Guinea captain Genoveva Anonma, who put her side within a goal with seven minutes to play having capitalised on two defensive errors.
The win puts Tom Sermanni’s side equal on points with Norway in Group D after they lost 3-0 to Brazil and Australia only need a draw against Norway on Wednesday to progress to the quarter-finals because of their superior goal difference.
Australia made a bright start after their first-up loss to Brazil and Khamis found the opener on eight minutes after neat build-up play.
Van Egmond played a delightful pass over the top to Heather Garriock and although her shot was parried by Guinea goalkeeper Mirian, Khamis was on hand to tap in the rebound.
Khamis went close again after quarter of an hour when she struck the post from close range, and Guinea defender Bruna picked up the rebound with her hands in a bizarre incident.
Bruna then dropped the ball and Mirian picked it up, delivering a long kick up field with officials seemingly missing a clear handball.
Guinea’s Anonma gave Australia two warnings with strikes going wide, and she equalised after 21 minutes.
Servet Uzunlar was dispossessed as she positioned herself for a pass back to shot-stopper Lydia Williams and Anonma took advantage, rounding the goalkeeper before scoring into an empty net.
Although they went into the break level, Australia produced a strong start to the second half and were rewarded with two goals in the space of four minutes.
Khamis worked hard to put in a cross from the left and van Egmond, moving into the area, struck a powerful drive into the corner on 48 minutes.
Substitute De Vanna made it 3-0 when McCallum delivered a pin-point long pass for her to poke home from inside the area.
But they were forced into a nervous finish when Uzunlar was again dispossessed in defence, leaving Anonma free to place into the bottom corner to pull another goal back for Guinea.
In Group D’s other game, Brazil handed Norway a 3-0 thrashing after five-time FIFA Women’s Player of the Year Marta capped off a brilliant display with a brace and Rosana scored the other.
The five-time world champions have already booked a place in the quarter-finals ahead of their clash against Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday.