CommBank Young Matildas secure U20 Women's Asian Cup bronze medal with 1-0 win against Korea Republic

A second-half goal to substitute Lara Gooch has meant that the CommBank Young Matildas have won bronze at the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2024™, defeating Korea Republic 1-0 in the third/fourth match at the tournament.

The result equals Australia’s best-ever finish at the tournament, achieved in 2006. The team qualified for the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024™ last week, when they reached the semi-final stage.

Head Coach Leah Blayney made two changes to the side that played the semi-final against Japan. In came Western United’s Kahli Johnson and Sydney FC’s Shay Hollman. They replaced Indiana Dos Santos and Milly Boughton.

Korea Republic had the better of the chances in the first half. Kim Shinji had a free kick from just outside the area, and her team had several corners. Park Soo Jeong came close on a couple of occasions as well, one shot forcing a great save from Chloe Lincoln at the near post and another volley squeezing just wide.

However, the CommBank Young Matildas grew into the half. Daniela Galic in particular was central to play, threading balls through the Korean midfield to more advanced teammates several times. By the time half-time arrived, it was Australia who were in the ascendancy.

Peta Trimis had a good opportunity to open the scoring in the 56th minute, played in by Galic at the back post. Australia’s tournament top-scorer just wasn’t able to wrap her boot around the ball to direct it on target, and the chance was missed.

Chloe Lincoln again impressed minutes after Trimis’ chance. Kim Jihyeon’s powerful strike was redirected onto the post by Lincoln from close range. Moments later, Cho Hyeyoung skewed a golden chance in front of goal just wide.

Momentum again swung towards Leah Blayney’s side after some fresh legs were brought onto the pitch. Her first move was to bring on Indiana Dos Santos for Daniela Galic. Minutes later, Milly Boughton and Lara Gooch were introduced in place of Kahli Johnson and Shay Hollman.

Peta Trimis was moved into midfield as a result and had some lovely touches, being able to drop deeper and bring teammates into play. It was an attacking ploy by the team – one that soon paid off.

It would be Gooch who would make all the difference. After a searching through ball, Gooch showed off her straight-line speed and got a touch ahead of the Korean goalkeeper. The touch was enough – it found the back of the net, and would be the only goal of the game.

There were nervous moments towards the end, and during the six minutes of stoppage time. But a mammoth defensive effort – including by substitute Georgia Cassidy, who came on for Trimis in the last minute of regulation time – kept Korea Republic scoreless.

The CommBank Young Matildas will now return to their clubs full of confidence, and bronze medals, as they approach the end of the season.

Match Details

Australia U-20:  1 (Lara Gooch 79')
Korea Republic U-20: 0

Tournament: AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2024™
Date: Saturday, 16 March 2024
Kick-off: 1.00pm (local) / 7.00pm AEDT
Venue: JAR Stadium, Tashkent

Referee: Koizumi Asaka (Japan)
Assistant Referees: Nuannid Donjangreed (Thailand) & Ha Thi Phuong (Vietnam)
Fourth Official: Om Choki (Bhutan)

Australia U-20 XI: 1. Chloe Lincoln (GK), 5. Jessika Nash (C), 6. Shay Hollman (19. Gooch 67'), 10. Daniela Galic (20. I. Dos Santos 59'), 11. Kahli Johnson (7. Boughton 67'), 13. Peta Trimis (22. Cassidy 89'), 14. Zara Kruger, 15. Alexia Apostolakis, 17. Madeleine Caspers, 21. Naomi Chinnama, 23. Sasha Grove

Substitutes not used:  2. Tijan McKenna, 3. Tegan Bertolissio, 4. Gemma Ferris, 8. Alana Murphy, 9. Jynaya Dos Santos, 12. Tahlia Franco (GK), 16. Claudia Cicco, 18. Grace Wilson,

Yellow Card: Johnson 63' Boughton 90+5'

Red Card: Nil