CommBank Junior Matildas record a 6-2 victory over the Philippines in their #AFCU17W Round 2 Qualifiers

The CommBank Junior Matildas have kicked off their 2024 AFC U-17 Women's Asian Cup Round 2 Qualifying campaign with a 6-2 victory over the Philippines in Hanoi.

Australia kicked off their qualifying campaign for the 2024 AFC U-17 Women's Asian Cup with a 6-2 victory over the Philippines. Rae Dower gave international debuts to three players in her Starting XI, one being goalkeeper Layla Adams, while Madeline Caspers and Annabelle Yates made their first appearances.

The Philippines had an early lead as Nina Mathelus gave her side the advantage from the spot, and doubled her tally three minutes later to make it 2-0 to the Philippines.

Grace Kuilamu clawed a goal back on the half-hour mark before skipper Ruby Cuthbert found the equaliser to make it 2-2 heading into the break.

Australia came out of the break firing, with Shelby McMahon giving the Junior Matildas the lead for the first time in the game with her goal in the 46th minute. Lillian Skelly then made it 4-2.

The CommBank Junior Matildas Starting XI for their 2024 AFC U-17 Women's Asian Cup Round 2 qualifying game against the Philippines.
Back Row (L to R): Indiana Dos Santos, Shelby McMahon, Ruby Cuthbert (C), Chloe Parker, Ischia Brooking and Lillian Skelly. 
Front Row (L to R): Kiera Meyers, Grace Kuilamu, Layla Adams (GK), Annabelle Yates and Madeline Caspers.

Substitute Talia Younis made it 5-2 for Rae Dower's side with 15 minutes left of regular time. Mikayla Duong, who came off the bench to start the second half, found Australia's sixth of the night in Hanoi from the spot.

The side will now take on hosts Vietnam in their next game on Friday night (10 pm AEST), with both teams recording victories on matchday 1 and looking to finish in the top two of Group B to qualify for the AFC U-17 Women’s Asian Cup Indonesia 2024™ to be held from 7 – 20 April 2024.

Vietnam v CommBank Junior Matildas 
Date: Fri, 22 September 2023 
Venue: Yanmar Field, Vietnam Youth Football Training Center, Hanoi
Kick Off: 7:00pm (Local), 10:00pm AEST

CommBank Junior Matildas v Bangladesh
Date: Sun, 24 September 2023
Venue: Yanmar Field, Vietnam Youth Football Training Center, Hanoi
Kick Off: 4:00pm (Local), 7:00pm AEST

Match Details

Australia U-17: 6 (Grace Kuilamu 30' Ruby Cuthbert 42' Shelby McMahon 46' Lillian Skelly 55' Talia Younis 75' Mikayla Duong (P) 86')
Philippines: 2 (Nina Mathelus 14' (P) 17')

Tournament: 2024 AFC U-17 Women's Asian Cup Round 2 Qualifiers - Group B
Date: Wednesday 20 September 2023
Venue: Yanmar Field, Vietnam Youth Football Training Center, Hanoi
Kick-off: 4:00pm (Local) / 7:00pm AEST

Referee: Mahsa Ghorbani (Islamic Republic of Iran)
Assistant Referees: Bahareh Seifinahavandi (Islamic Republic of Iran) & Fang Yan (China PR)
Fourth Official: Azusa Sugino (Japan)

Australia: 18. Layla Adams, 2. Kiera Meyers, 4. Ruby Cuthbert (c), 5. Madeline Caspers (19. Georgia Groidis 45'), 6. Ischia Brooking, 7. Shelby McMahon (15. Sian Dewey 77'), 9. Grace Kuilamu (11. Sienna Dale 71'), 10. Indiana Dos Santos (8. Talia Younis 39'), 14. Annabelle Yates, 20. Lillian Skelly, 23. Chloe Parker (17. Mikayla Duong 45')

Substitutes not used: 1. Jessica Skinner (GK), 3. Amelia Tartaglia, 12. Georgia Ritchie (GK), 13. Isabela Hoyos, 16. Ava Carlson, 21. Tiana Fuller, 22. Emma Dundas

Comments from Head Coach, Rae Dower, following the victory:

"I'm incredibly proud of the team, the character and composure they showed to work through and get the result. Coming from 2 goals down in the first 20 minutes is not exactly what we'd planned for, but full credit to the girls for believing in the process and for sticking to our plans. They worked very hard to get themselves back in the game and then they went on with it in the end."

"Our opponent pressed us hard in that first half and we paid the price for some uncharacteristic errors and got punished for them. That's the great learning curve for us and we've explained that as they move up the food chain in the competition and play against better opposition, those errors get punished and teams capitalise on them." 

"Learnings aside though, I'm so proud of the leadership shown across the whole team. We settled into the game well halfway through that first half and created a number of good goalscoring opportunities. Eventually, we got our combinations right and scored some really great goals with 5 players scoring their debut goal for Australia."

"The conditions were really oppressive, with the heat and humidity, so the performance was so much better than it looks on paper. We emptied the bench to rotate the squad and for now, it's all about recovery and getting the girls as fresh and healthy as we can for the match tomorrow against the hosts, Vietnam."