Portsmouth-born Jill Ellis saw her USA team get off to a winning start after they kicked off their Women’s World Cup campaign with a 3-1 victory against Australia.
Ellis, who grew up in Waterlooville before moving to the States as a 15-year-old, has been the head coach of the US women’s national football team since 2014.
And the 48-year-old’s side didn’t buckle under the pressure in their opening group D game in Winnipeg as a double from Megan Rapinoe (12 and 78mins) and Christen Press (61) ensured the second seeds enjoyed the perfect start to their pursuit of a third World Cup.
Lisa De Vanna (27) was on the scoresheet for the Matildas as the game was watched by 31,148 fans in Canada’s Winnipeg Stadium.
Ellis said Team USA grew into the game in front of the large crowd.
‘I don’t think we played particularly well in the first half but I was pleased that we grew in the game,’ she said.
‘The fan support was phenomenal.
‘Our players settled in in the second half, which was much better. That’s something we can build upon.’
Current Pompey Ladies striker, Ini Umotong, was an unused substitute as Nigeria began their campaign, also in group D, with a 3-3 draw with Sweden.
England Ladies kick-off in group F today against France (6pm BST)