Hayley Raso, Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter have shared their favourite FIFA Women’s World Cup memories as part of a special feature by their NWSL club Portland Thorns.
The Westfield Matildas trio – who all play their club football for the Thorns – took time out this week to reflect on their standout moment from the recent tournament in France.
Just playing at her first FIFA Women’s World Cup was an achievement in itself for attacker Hayley Raso.
The 24-year-old attacker had to overcome a serious back injury suffered in August 2018, breaking three vertebrae and sparking fears she may never walk again.
After more than six months rehabilitation she finally got back on the pitch, impressing coach Ante Milicic enough to include her in his squad for the tournament.
And being in the starting XI for the opening group game against Italy was something Raso will never forget.
“This moment was special to me because I worked so hard to get myself back into the starting team,” she said.
“The whole time I was laying in that hospital bed and going through my rehab and recovery, I thought about this moment and being there on that stage.
“So for me, it was just a huge tick off my list; like I’d accomplished it and I’d achieved what I worked so hard for.”
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup was Foord’s third appearance at the event, but she failed to find the net in her first two tournaments in 2011 and 2015.
She finally broke that duck in the second group match in France, scoring Australia’s first goal in the epic 3-2 comeback win over Brazil.
“I think this goal was pretty important to us – as a team – right before half in kind of a do-or-die match for us,” Foord explained.
“It boosted the confidence of the team going in at halftime to be coming back out just trailing by one goal.
“Me personally, it was my first goal at the World Cup so it was a pretty special moment, and I think the importance of the goal made it a little bit more special.”
Speaking about her favourite FIFA World Cup moment, Ellie Carpenter said: “This being my first World Cup, it was really exciting to play.
“I remember this game. This is the one versus Brazil; it was our comeback.
“It reminds me of that game – the crazy game. I guess, how we came back from two-nil down, and I think it’s a pretty cool action shot of me in my first World Cup."