Simon fires Matildas to victory

A Kyah Simon brace saw Australia to an important 2-0 win over Nigeria at the Women's World Cup on Saturday morning (AEST).

Simon struck once in each half in Winnipeg to help the Matildas claim their first points in Group D.

The win lifted Australia onto three points, level with United States – who play Sweden later on Saturday.

But with four third-placed teams to advance to the last 16, the Matildas' chances were given a huge boost.

After a relatively even open half-hour, the Matildas went ahead in the 29th minute.

Lisa De Vanna ran at the Nigerian defence before feeding Simon in behind, and the forward made no mistake with a smart finish.

Simon and De Vanna both had great opportunities five minutes later.

The former forced off a shot inside the area before the deflection fell for De Vanna to volley wide.

Nigeria had the Matildas under pressure early in the second half before Sam Kerr squandered an opportunity.

Emily van Egmond's set-piece from the left found Kerr, who watched her volley go wide.

But a second goal would come in the 68th minute.

Nigeria failed to clear a cross and Kerr drifted a ball back into the area, with Simon finishing to make it 2-0.

Moments later, Kerr copped a nasty elbow to the face from Nigeria defender Ugo Njoku, who escaped punishment.

Laura Alleway almost made it three as she struck the crossbar, via a deflection, after a cross to the near post.

But it mattered little as the Matildas comfortably saw out an important win.