The Westfield Matildas' FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 campaign is well and truly alive as a double from Kyah Simon gave them a crucial 2-0 victory over Nigeria at Winnipeg Stadium earlier today.
Simon struck in each half to secure the Westfield Matildas a precious three points, the result catapulting Australia into second position in the group behind the USA who drew 0-0 with Sweden in today's other Group D encounter.
Head Coach Alen Stajcic made three changes for the match with Nigeria from the team that took on the USA, Alanna Kennedy partnering Laura Alleway in the centre of defence, Lydia Williams starting in goals, while Simon came in to lead the line in place of Michelle Heyman.
Wary of the unpredictability and threat the Nigerians posed, the Westfield Matildas were well disciplined in executing their game plan, combining well in the front third while managing to limit the goal scoring chances of a formidable Nigeria attack.
After a cagey opening saw both sides create a number of decent half chances, it took a blistering run from captain Lisa De Vanna and a well taken finish from Simon just before the half hour to break the deadlock.
De Vanna left three defenders in her wake before laying a fine ball off to the left for Simon who calmly lifted her shot over goalkeeper Previous Dede into the right corner of the net.
With the Australian defence continuing to thwart everything the Nigerians threw at them and Elise Kellond-Knight doing a stellar job in her holding midfield role, Simon then doubled the advantage in the 68th minute when she latched onto a well weighted diagonal ball from Sam Kerr at the far post and managed to again beat Dede from close range.
Suddenly facing a two goal deficit, the Nigerians were becoming ever more desperate and tempers and frustrations began to rise for the Super Falcons, highlighted by an ugly off the ball incident that saw Kerr felled behind the play by an errant elbow from Nigerian defender Ugo Njoku that somehow missed the attention of the referee.
Visibly shaken by the contact, Kerr battled on and would have the last laugh as the Westfield Matildas held Nigeria out until the final whistle.