89 mins: Ooooh, decent opportunity for Ireland here. The ball was bouncing around in midfield, an Irish boot got to it first, stabbing it towards the penalty area, where Hunt is too eager to climb over Atkinson, sending the forward to the turf. The result is a very very dangerous free-kick opportunity.
88 mins: Australia now have five at the back, one of whom is Carpenter, who continues to bomb down the right flank, hoping to dovetail with Raso. Nothing comes of it this time, but over on the Irish right Larkin shows a nice turn of pace to get down the outside and whip over a cross, but the composed Arnold is unflustered and plucks the ball out of the sky.
87 mins: Quinn easily heads clear Catley’s delivery but Raso recycles possession well and dinks over a cross that’s a fraction too high for Foord.
Atkinson comes on for Carusa as Pauw tries to rescue a result at the death.
85 mins: Gorry, probably the player of the match, steps up in midfield to win the ball cleanly. She looks for Raso but the winger is caught by a stray finger and the Matildas settle for the free-kick.
83 mins: McCabe’s first effort is headed clear. The second is more dangerous, but again Australia’s rearguard is well marshalled. Hunt and Kennedy have looked very strong.
Gustavsson makes another defensive change with Mary Fowler making for veteran Claie Polkinghorne.
82 mins: Play is increasingly stretched now with both midfields AWOL. Australia again probe on the edge of the box but can’t fashion a clear opportunity. A couple of toe-poked interceptions later and Ireland have a corner at the other end.
81 mins: Australia almost seal it! Fowler links well with Raso on halfway who frees Foord down the right. IT’s all very similar to the goal against France but the pullback this time is to Gorry, and her effort is blocked.
79 mins: Arnold does superbly on her line to catch the in-swinging corner above a coconut shy of heads and under immense pressure. She suffers a knock for her troubles, which allows Gustavsson a chance to send some messages out to his troops.
78 mins: It’s still all Ireland. O’Sullivan with a dangerous cross form the right towards Larkin that Carpenter sends out for yet another corner.
75 mins: Another corner to Ireland, their third in quick succession. Olés ring around the ground as McCabe curls one over with her left foot. Arnold can’t get out to punch, but Australia manage to clear. They don’t deal with the recycled phase though and when the ball eventually works its way back into the penalty area the Matildas look nervy at the back, desperate to keep their upper limbs out of the way of the bouncing ball with the Brazilian referee studying the scene with intent.
74 mins: The cross towards the penalty spot is flicked clear but only as far as O’Sullivan. From the edge of the box the Irish No 10 can’t get enough purchase on her volley and the shot floats wide.
Gustavsson, sensing the change in the pattern of play sacrifices Vine for Van Egmond to stiffen up the Australian midfield.
73 mins: It’s taken Ireland those couple of substitutions and a few minutes of readjustment, but they’re coming at Australia now. That same intensity in the tackle remains but now there are more bodies in front of the ball to capitalise on turnovers. From broken field a nice break down the left forces Gorry into conceding a corner.
71 mins: McCabe takes it with her left foot and almost curls it directly into the net! That was a vicious delivery and Arnold does well to get a fist to the effort with the tall frame of Quinn providing a leaping obstacle. Good goalkeeping.
69 mins: For the first time all night the game is stretched with Ireland coming out of their shell and Australia relishing the opportunity to run into space. The Matildas link passes but an isolate Vine turns into trouble and Ireland head down the other end quickly. Catley does well in defence but Quinn still earns a rare corner.
68 mins: Catley’s delivery is perfect for Foord to glance on at the near post, but there’s nobody to stick home the opportunity at the back stick.
67 mins: Ireland try to work through the lines out of defence but there’s no fluency. Gorry pounces o the indecision and drives towards goal, letting fire from the edge of the box, but her effort is deflected wide for a corner.
65 mins: There’s not a lot happening in either box as Australia slowly assert themselves. Ireland have adjusted their structure, shifting to a 4-4-2, but they’re yet to gather any momentum.
62 mins: Australia are now dominating possession, and the goal advantage means there isn’t the desperation of the first half to get the ball forward quickly. Pauw finally turns to her bench. Farrelly and Sheva are replaced by Larkin and Quinn. Will they make the difference?
60 mins: Fowler concedes a turnover trying to knit play together. It offers Ireland the opportunity to break but they don’t have numbers in attack and Australia are soon back on the ball. The Matildas work it down the right before Hunt lofts a cross over that Payne fails to deal with. Foord stands Payne up and works the ball back to Gorry who unleashes a horrendous wayward effort.
Ireland have to shake things up soon.
58 mins: Speaking of playing nicely into hands, Arnold floats off her line to pluck out a deep free-kick with superb composure. She’s had very little to do tonight but that demonstrates her form and concentration.
57 mins: Ireland are trying to rouse themselves but they have simply not been set-up to break Australia down. It’s going to take a major re-jig, which of course will invite the Matildas to hit them on the break – which will play nicely into Tony Gustavsson’s hands.
55 mins: The battle of the night over on the Irish left continues with McCabe hustled to the ground by the smirking Gorry, Raso coming over to play bodyguard. The resulting free-kick is swung over but easily dealt with by the Australian defence.
54 mins: Fowler almost makes it two! Australia press quickly from the restart and the ball breaks to the Manchester City star on the edge of the box but her left-footed effort flies over.
53 mins: You don’t save those. Superb spot-kick. Catley is immediately swamped by all her teammates. The relief is palpable.
Captain for the night Steph Catley sends Stadium Australia wild, belting a left-footed penalty high into the left corner.
The Matildas are noticeably more patient in possession this half, and after Fowler’s earlier skill, Australia look to keep the ball moving in the middle third until Cooney-Cross spots the darting Raso, who is bundled over in the box by Sheva. Stonewall penalty.
49 mins: The second half has yet to settle as Ireland resume their energetic pressing and diligent positional play. Australia need more from Mary Fowler to unpick this defence – and right on cue – she shows lovely control in the No 10 role and slides a ball through for the onrushing Vine. The Sydney speedster gets into the box but is bundled out of possession.
48 mins: The delivery is deep and arcing, but Australia flick it clear. There’s another stoppage soon afterwards though as Australia even the ledger on the feisty McCabe.
47 mins: No changes at half-time, and Ireland will be happy with how the second period has begun, earning an early free-kick on the right in decent crossing range.
46 mins: The second-half is under way. Will we see a winner in Sydney?
The teams are back out for the second half. The host broadcaster lingers over a disappointed-looking Sam Kerr wrapped up in a massive puffer jacket. If you’ve just joined us, Australia’s star has done a calf and will be out until at least the third group game.
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A full-blooded first-half ends goalless. Ireland are proving very awkward for a Sam Kerr-less Australia.
45+6 mins: Much better from Australia with the fullbacks pushing much wider, allowing Gorry space to run into in midfield, through the lines. Foord takes over, but she’s crowded out in the box. Gorry then has a pop from distance that will pad both hers and Brosnan’s stats.
45+5 mins: Australia are being allowed all the time on the ball they like in their defensive third, but as soon as they try to move the ball downfield Ireland snap into action. The Matildas look short of creativity.
45+4 mins: The crowd sighs as Vine passes a long way back from her attacking position on the left wing, but she had nowhere else to go with Ireland so disciplined in defence.
45+2 mins: Ireland win the ball in midfield but O’Sullivan has nobody in front of her and is soon swamped by gold jerseys.
45 mins: This time the Matildas retain possession in midfield, probing first through Carpenter, then with Raso, but again Ireland time their moments to step out of defence and interrupt the flow of play to perfection. That said, McCabe then flies in recklessly at Gorry and is lucky to escape without a booking.