The Young Matildas have got off to the perfect start in Costa Rica, defeating the host nation 3-1 in their opening FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup encounter.
While the scoreline suggests a relatively comfortable Australian win, Leah Blayney and her side had to work exceptionally hard against this Costa Rican side.
Australia started the brighter of the two with captain Sheridan Gallagher applying pressure to the goalkeeper, forcing a turnover, and ultimately receiving the ball.
Her audacious, long-range effort needed two attempts from Genesis Perez to be claimed.
Both sides favoured their right-hand sides in attack as they looked to settle into the match. While neither side created too many opportunities, Costa Rica opened the scoring in spectacular fashion.
At the 19-minute mark, Costa Rican captain Alexandra Pinell unleashed a rocket of a free kick from 35 yards out….