CommBank ParaMatildas win silver in inaugural IFCPF Women's World Cup Final

The CommBank ParaMatildas competed in the inaugural IFCPF Women's World Cup Final against the USA. 

Head Coach Kelly Stirton opted for the same starting five as Australia's first three wins, with Eloise Northam captaining the side in the history-making final. Katelyn Smith lined up in goals, and birthday girl, Tahlia Blanshard was again named in the defence while Georgia Bekioff and Lainee Harrison finished off the starting line-up. 

In the first half Australia, after going down 4-0 to the USA just two days prior, dominated the match and had a flurry of chances to take the lead in the opening stanza. 

The opening goal finally came in the 23rd-minute from captain Eloise Northam. The ball was picked up in Australia's box and hit first time by Northam, sending her shot over the entire length of the field and lobbing Emily Lauritsen in the USA goal. 


Australia went into the break 1-0 up, however, USA's head coach Tricia Taliaferro made some game-changing substitutes, bringing on captain Annie Wickett and Jesslyn Kuhnel, to see if they could claw back an equaliser. 

Wickett found the equaliser just eight minutes after coming on, getting on the end of a Lauritsen's drop kick from goals and finishing past Smith. Just two minutes later Jesslyn Kuhnel, the other second-half substitute, doubled USA's lead in a similar fashion to their first. 

Just seven minutes remained on the clock and USA opted to make another change, moving Wickett into goalkeeper, her first involvement between the sticks was conceding a 46th-minute equaliser from fellow shot-stopper Katelyn Smith. The Australian keeper was able to drop-kick it into the back of the net and send it into extra time. 

In extra-time, it was Kuhnel again who gave the USA the lead and then the 4th goal from Emma Martin sealed the IFCPF Women's World Cup title. 

Watch the highlights from our history-making finals appearance below! 


MATCH DETAILS

Australia               2  (Northam 23', Smith 46')
USA                          4  (Wickett 32', Kuhnel 34', 52', Martin 66+1')

Referees: K. Abt / I. Monteiro

CommBank ParaMatildas Line Up: 7. Eloise Northam (c), 6. Katelyn Smith (GK) , 3. Tahlia Blanshard, 5. Lainee Harrison (4. Charlize Tran 37'), 10. Georgia Beikoff

Subs not used: 1. Holly Saunders (GK), 2. Nicole Christodoulou, 8. Matilda Mason, 9. Rae Anderson