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Clare Polkinghorne, Rachel Daly open group play in FIFA Women’s World Cup

Australia falls to Italy, 2-1

Clare Polkinghorne and Australia kicked off Group C play against Italy and fell short to the European side 2-1 after forward Barbara Bonansea’s brace at Stade du Hainut in Valenciennes. In her fourth World Cup appearance, Polkinghorne played all 90 minutes of today’s match.

Australia took the lead in the first half when forward Sam Kerr took a penalty that was initially blocked by Italian goalkeeper Laura Giulliani, but then fired home by the back-to-back NWSL Golden Boot winner from close range.

Italy equalized shortly in the second half when Bonansea stole a ball from Polkinghorne and sprinted forward beating goalkeeper Lydia Williams and sliding the ball into the bottom corner. Bonansea gave Italy the lead at the 90th minute when she headed a freekick into the back of the net.

Polkinghorne and Australia (0-0-1) are back in action at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 13 as they face Group C leader Brazil (1-0-0) in Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier.

England gets the victory against Scotland, 2-1

England defeated Scotland in their opening game this morning at Stade de Nice in Nice, 2-1. Rachel Daly did not see action off the bench for the Lionesses.

England midfielder Nikita Parris opened the scoring for The Lionesses in the 14th minute when Scotland defender Nicola Docherty deflected England forward Fran Kirby’s cross in the box. Vide review confirmed a handball and Parris stepped up to take the penalty and buried the ball in the top-left corner.

Later in the first half, England doubled their lead when forward Ellen White curled in left-footed effort into the top-left corner past Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander.

Scotland kept the momentum going in the second half when midfielder Claire Emslie received a ball from teammate Lisa Evans, touched it and launched the ball above England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley just under the crossbar. Scotland fell short from trying to equalize, giving England their first win of the group stage.

Daly and England (1-0-0) currently sit at the top of the table on Group D and will take on Argentina (0-0-0) at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 14 at Stade Océane in Le Havre.

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