As three flagpoles stood unadorned (pictured right), Australia and Chile opened the World Cup Qualifier in Santiago in front of a large crowd at the impressive Manquehue complex with the pre-tournament favourites running up a comfortable 5-0 victory.
Scarcely did they need any help but the Aussies from three tamely awarded corners, the first of which was slapped high into the roof of the net by Amy Korner and was initially given before being ruled out from halfway. The same corner, though, broke the deadlock in the 15th minute when Korner – the pusher out – kept her shot low this time to rattle the backboard.
An excellent right-wing move fortuitously found its way home via Ashleigh Nelson’s stick after a goalkeeping mishap and the game died as a contest at that moment before half-time as any Australian early jitters went out the window.
Nelson scrambled in from another corner before a smart Kate Hollywood deflection and a Madonna Blyth reverse sealed a functional win to start the week and serve an impressive statement of intent.
World Cup Qualifiers – Day One:
Chile 0 Australia 5 (Ashleigh Nelson 2, Amy Korner, Kate Hollywood, Madonna Blyth)
* For more photos of Chile vs Australia, click here