HANGZHOU, China (AFP) - Australia scored their first World Cup win in 10 attempts here on Wednesday, ending a 12-year drought with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Ghana.
Striker Sarah Walsh opened the scoring after 15 minutes which gave the Matildas a 1-0 edge in an evenly balanced first half.
After the break superior pace and fitness paid off with two goals from second-half substitute Lisa De Vanna (57 and 81) and another from Heather Garriock in the 69th minute.
Ghana's exciting 18-year-old striker Anita Amankwa fired one back for the Black Queens in the 70th minute.
Ghana had taken points from Australia in 1999 and 2003 but they struggled to subdue the pacy Walsh and it was after two earlier near misses that the 24-year-old broke the deadlock, firing left-footed off the inside of the post.
She then teed up De Vanna to double Australia's lead and the outcome was settled when Heather Garriock headed home the pick of Australia's goals.
The Matildas have played in three World Cups before -- in 1995, 1999 and 2003 -- but have failed to get beyond the group stage, a dismal record that they want to fix.
Their form in the lead up has been good, and their first ever win will boost confidence.
"I was just delighted with the result and the performance," said Australia's Scottish-born coach Tom Sermanni. "It certainly eased the pressure on the team and the coach.
"I think it will boost our confidence and it was a combination of the win and the performance because Ghana are a good side and they had a lot of possession.
"We defended well and I think we created a lot of chances. So I think we came away with a lot of positives tonight."
Norway, ranked fourth in the world, and Canada, ranked ninth, are also in Group C and are favourites to pass into the knockout round ahead of Australia, who are 15th in the FIFA rankings.
The lowest ranked team in the current tournament at 47, Ghana have appeared in two previous World Cups without getting beyond the group stage.
Sermanni said that the next hurdle against Norway on Saturday would be a difficult one for the Australians, but he predicted that the crucial tie would come against Canada in the final group game on September 19.
"Tonight's win puts us in a position where we will be involved in the group all the way through," he said.
"Even if we lose the next game we will still have a chance to qualify in the last game."
|Griezmann named best in LaLiga as big three share awards|
|Hargreaves puzzled by Mkhitaryan omission|
|Ballon d´Or breakdown: LaLiga, Premier League dominant amid French renaissance|
|Struggling Inter hit with Medel ban|
|Messi, Ronaldo and the full 30-man Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Suarez, Vardy complete Ballon d´Or nominations|
|Neymar joins fellow heavyweights on Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Neymar joins fellow heavyweights on Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Messi, Modric nominated for Ballon d´Or|
|Liverpool strong out of Europe, says Pochettino|
|Giroud to make Arsenal return - Wenger|
|Giggs hits out at ´laughing´ United players following Chelsea battering|
|Schmidt given two-match ban after Nagelsmann slur|
|Wenger: 82 points could win the Premier League|
|´Chelsea won´t sell to Barca or Bayern´ - Gladbach optimistic over Christensen|
|Wenger contract not a priority for Arsenal|
|Wenger says sorry for making Arsenal fans suffer|
|Sissoko charged by FA for Arter elbow|
|Liverpool not even close to 100 per cent - Klopp|
|Messi, Neymar and Suarez given three-day break by Barcelona|
|´Arsenal can compete on wages´ - Gazidis quizzed on Ozil and Sanchez|
|Ibrahimovic and Lewandowski nominated for Ballon d´Or|
|What You Might Have Missed: Benfica record, a Plea from Balo and Reto Ziegler´s better than Ronaldo|
|Montella warns AC Milan stars: Don´t let first-place prize trap you|
|Zorc ´tired of b*******´ on Tuchel, Aubameyang|
|West Ham defenders must outsmart Costa, says Ogbonna|
|We did not offer ¥1billion for Nagatomo, insist Jiangsu|
|De Bruyne, Griezmann join Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Ronaldo isn´t anxious, insists Marcelo|
|Renato Sanches wins Golden Boy award for 2016|
|´I don´t know if I will be here on Wednesday´ – De Boer unsure on future amid sack speculation|
|Ronaldo, Bale among first nominees for Ballon d´Or|
|Wenger: Arsenal showed progress with Middlesbrough draw|
|Thiago Silva wants to extend PSG stay|
|Inaki Williams dismisses Liverpool rumours|
|Coutinho does ´amazing things´ - Matip|
|Wilshere happy to be out of Arsenal comfort zone at Bournemouth|
|Lloris is Premier League´s best goalkeeper - Dier|
|Revolution striker Kamara given yellow card for twerking|
|Klopp rubbishes ´defensive problem´ claims|
|Madrid tracking Dortmund boss Tuchel, claims Watzke|
|MLS Review: Dallas win Supporters´ Shield, Sporting KC sneak into play-offs|
|Ronaldo has ´addiction for goals´ - Morata|
|Emery refuses to point the finger at Di Maria after Marseille draw|
|Zidane vows to play Morata more often|
|Garcia hails Marseille team spirit after PSG draw|
|Neville urges calm at United after Mourinho´s horror Chelsea reunion|
|Zamalek 1 Mamelodi Sundowns 0 (1-3 agg): South Africans clinch first CAF Champions League title|
|Paris Saint-Germain 0 Marseille 0: Champions thwarted in Garcia´s first game|
|Real Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 1: Morata to the rescue|
|Bailly sustains knee ligament injury|
|Simeone frustrated by Atletico´s finishing|
|Conte encouraged crowd as Chelsea deserved it|
|Chelsea thrashing painful for Mata and United|
|Chelsea ´dominant from first minute to last´ - Cahill|
|Mourinho blames ´incredible defensive mistakes´ for United loss|
|N´Zonzi cools talk of title challenge|
|Chelsea 4 Manchester United 0: Rampant Blues humble returning Mourinho|
|De Boer: Inter ´played with fear´ in first half|
|Juventus confirm Dybala thigh injury|
|Guardiola vows to fix Manchester City concerns|
|Sevilla 1 Atletico Madrid 0: N´Zonzi strikes to end Simeone´s unbeaten start|
|Bayern set to open Robben, Ribery renewal talks|
|Puel satisfied with City draw|
|Rangers 0 Celtic 1: Late Dembele strike settles Old Firm semi-final|
|Croatian player teased for being ´too smart for football´|
|Redmond expected City to give up chances|
|Feyenoord 1 Ajax 1: Kuyt cancels out Dolberg opener|
|Atalanta 2 Inter 1: Late penalty heaps pressure on De Boer|
|Voller defends Schmidt over touchline dismissal|
|Injured Rooney left out of United squad for Chelsea trip|
|Manchester City 1 Southampton 1: Guardiola´s men back on top but winless run continues|
|Guangzhou Evergrande clinch record sixth straight Super League title|
|´Icon´ Rooney not finished at United - Pereira|
|Zubizarreta-Garcia meeting confirmed by Marseille president|
|Aspas-inspired Celta thrash Deportivo in Galician derby|
|Lorient dismiss coach Ripoll|
|Ronaldo´s impact on football is myth-like - Perez|
|United not distracted by Mourinho´s Chelsea return - Young|
|A-League Review: 20,000th goal helps Newcastle Jets to shock comeback|
|Cech laments Arsenal´s lack of composure|
|Qatar World Cup worker dies at stadium site|
|Galliani wanted Montella at Milan in 2014|
|Mourinho hopes never to return to Chelsea|
|Barzagli angry with AC Milan defeat|
|Iniesta admits ´it could have been worse´ after Barcelona confirm 6-8 week absence|
|Mourinho: I´ll never sell Rooney|
|Ancelotti admits to bowing to Ronaldo demands|
|Ancelotti doubts Conte´s Chelsea can win Premier League|
|Romagnoli happy at Milan amid Chelsea links|
|City must not change their style - Gundogan|
|Conte wants to emulate Mourinho|
|Montella: Rising Milan must handle new expectations|
|Rummenigge dispels Alaba-Manchester City reports|
|Success the key to building connection with fans - Mourinho|
|Gundogan hails ´amazing´ duo Guardiola and Klopp|
|AC Milan players influenced ref for disallowed goal, fumes Allegri|
|Allardyce incident a tragedy, says FA chief executive Glenn|
|Locatelli can´t comprehend beating Buffon|