Foord and Catley excel; heartbreak for Austria

Caitlin Foord

Manuela Zinsberger and Laura Wienroither's 2023 World Cup dreams are over as Scotland defeated Austria 1-0 on a rainy evening at Hampden Park.

Their heartbreak came through an extra-time goal from Abi Harrison, who sent the Scots through to the second and final round of World Cup play-offs. Jen Beattie and her compatriots will now take on the challenge of Katie McCabe and the Republic of Ireland on October 11. 

Lia Walti and Noelle Maritz will be in competitive action on Tuesday too, as Switzerland face off against Wales.

Following the culmination of the play-offs, the nine teams will be ranked according to their performances in the group stages and play-offs. The two highest-placed teams will book their place at the 2023 World Cup. The third runner-up will then have a while to wait before they head to the intercontinental play-offs in February 2023.

Over in London, Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley excelled for Australia as the Matildas beat South Africa 4-1. Our duo were involved in all four Australian goals, with two coming courtesy of corners from Catley. Foord, meanwhile, set up a back-heeled volley from Cortnee Vine and later got on the scoresheet herself to round off the Matildas' dominant victory.  

Beth Mead played the full 90 as the Lionesses defeated the US Women's National Team at Wembley. Mead's teasing cross into the box was mishandled by Alana Cook and fell to Lauren Hemp for England's opener. The world champions equalised through Sophia Smith in the 27th minute but a Georgia Stanway penalty fired England into the lead once more.

Prior to kick-off, both sides posed together with a 'Protect the Players' banner following the recent publication of a shocking report on abuse within the National Women's Soccer League. The Lionesses have dedicated their next fixture against the Czech Republic on October 11 to the 'Let Girls Play' campaign. 

Leah Williamson, our centreback and the England captain, said: “After this summer’s success we are keen to create a real legacy in this country, we want every young girl in the nation to be able to play football at school and we won’t stop until the opportunity to play our sport is equal to everyone. Currently, only 67% of schools offer football equally to girls and boys in PE lessons and that is not enough.

"There is a generation of girls who deserve more. Each and every one of us is wholeheartedly behind this campaign and we’re all grateful to our teammate Lotte Wubben-Moy for the work she continues to do with the support of The FA on this."

Frida Maanum played 81 minutes as Norway were defeated by Brazil 4-1. The Brazilians were missing captain Rafaelle Souza, who sustained a metatarsal fracture during our Champions League qualifier against Ajax. Next up for Norway is a Netherlands side missing Vivianne Miedema, who is out through illness. 

Lina Hurtig and Stina Blackstenius both featured as second-half substitutes during Sweden's 1-1 draw with Spain. Sweden's next friendly is against France on October 11.

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