Kennedy key to Westfield Matildas' dominant AFC Women's Asian Cup display

Ball-playing defenders are a hot property in football and that's exactly what Alanna Kennedy brings to the Westfield Matildas.

The 23-year-old was restored to the starting XI for the rout of Vietnam and right back to exuding supreme class.

Her ability as an athletic, aerially-sound stopper is not in question and rarely came under examination at Amman International Stadium.

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Instead, this was a chance for the converted midfielder to show the full range of her talents.

She did just that.

Kennedy towered over the Vietnam defenders to head Australia's second goal midway through the first half, before turning into something of a creative force.

It was in this role that the Melbourne City and Orlando Pride player made the biggest impact on what needed to be a vast victory.

Alanna Kennedy
Kennedy has formed a formidable partnership with Laura Alleway.

First, in the 44th minute, she curled an exceptional left-footed cross in behind the defence that Sam Kerr headed on for a 5-0 lead.

And the pair repeated the trick soon after the restart, Kerr almost surprised that a second left-sided delivery from Kennedy landed in her lap.

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The twin assists helped ensure there would be no lethargy either side of half-time as Australia went on to compile an 8-0 victory that changes the context of Group B.

Just as important was the sight of Kennedy full of confidence in Jordan.

It was a standout 90 minutes from a player who has a big role to play in the remainder of the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup.