2010 Asian Cup Rewind: Westfield Matildas crowned champions of Asia

The Westfield Matildas have been crowned the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup Champions with  Kyah Simon securing the winning penalty for Australia on a night of challenging conditions at Chengdu Sports Centre.  

It is Australia's major silverware - men's or women's - since joining the Asian Football Confederation in 2005. 

Teenager Sam Kerr gave the Westfield Matildas’ the lead in the 19th minute as the youngster saw herself on the receiving end of a ball in from Clare Polkinghorne.

Kerr manoeuvred herself around DPR Korea goalkeeper Hong Myong Hui and ignited a confidence boost amongst Australia.

The world number 5 and the top side in the AFC, DPR Korea began the  match strongly, but Kerr’s goal saw a period of dominance from Australia lead by the midfield of Collette McCallum, Clare Polkinghorne and Sally Shipard 

The Koreans looked to respond later in the half but Australia went into the break holding onto their 1-0 lead with some key 'keeping from Melissa Barbieri.

The second half was a evenly balanced contest early with neither side getting on top. 

Polkinghorne almost to double the Westfield Matildas’ lead in the 59th minute after receiving a cross from Elise Kellond-Knight. Polkinghorne transitioned her power onto a header but sent it just off target.

Final - Kerr goal
Celebrating Kerr's goal (Photo: Paul Lau)

DPR Korea responded with some excellent pressure, however continued to fall short in the final passes of their play, restricting them of any chance to find an equaliser.

Danger dawned on Australia in the 70th minute when Yun Hyon Hi cleared the Westfield Matildas’ defence. The brilliant work of Australian goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri saw her save the attempt low.

With the pressure building from the Korean side, it was only then moments later that Jo Jun Min connected with a curling ball in and sent her header into the fair corner of the net, finally levelling the scored in the 73rd minute.

Australian coach Tom Sermanni decided to replace Sam Kerr with a fresh set of legs down forward, bringing on Kyah Simon, the decision later proving to be the perfect change.

Four minutes of extra time was added, with both sides hoping they could find the goal that could crown them the Asian champions.

With the rain pouring down on Chengdu Sports Centre pitch, the ground became almost unplayable as the grass turned into a pitch of mud.

As there were no further change to the score at the conclusion of added time, the game headed to penalties to break the deadlock.

Gill Penalty
(Photo: Paul Lau)

Korea took the first of the penalties, netting the ball, with Shipard responding levelling the score.

Yun Song Mi missed Korea’s second shot, handing Australia their most assuring chance of claiming victory. 

Kylie Ledbrook, Katie Gill and Heather Garriock all took advantage of their opportunties.

It come down to second half substitute Kyah Simon to secure the Westfield Matildas’ victory. 18 year old Simon calmly dispatched her  penalty into the top right corner, sending the Australian side into a frenzy of celebrations.

Sermanni shared his pride and excitement of the conclusion of the match, naming the victory as the highlight of his career.

“I am incredibly proud of my players," he said.  

"They have continued to surprise me with their ability, commitment and effort. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of girls and what they have achieved in such a short time.”

Shipard and Bubs
Sally Shipard and Melissa Barbieri (Photo: Paul Lau)

Australia 1 (Sam Kerr 19’)

DPR Korea 1 (Jo Yun Mi 73’)

Australia won AET, 5-4 on penalties 
Australia: Sally Shipard, Kylie Ledbrook, Katie Gill, Heather Garriock,  Kyah Simon
DPR Korea: Jo Yun Mi, Yun Song Mi (miss), Choe Yong Sim, Yu Jong Hui, Mun Chol Mi

AUSTRALIA Line Up: 1. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE, 5. Lauren COLTHORPE, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK, 12. Katie GILL, 14. Collette MCCALLUM (27. Aivi Luik, 97'), 15. Sally SHIPARD, 16. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT (10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 101'), 22. Samantha KERR (17. Kyah SIMON, 75'), 23. Kim CARROLL

Substitutes: 3. Karla REUTER, 18. Lydia WILLIAMS (RGK), 19. Leena KHAMIS, 24. Tamek BUTT, 25. Casey DUMONT (RGK), 31. Teigan ALLEN

Coach: Tom Sermanni (Australia)

DPR KOREA (North Korea):
1. Hong Myong Hui (GK), 4. Yun Song Mi, 5. Choe Yong Sim, 6. Ra Un Sim, 8. Jo Yun Mi, 9. Ri Ye Gyong, 10. Kim Yong Ae (14. Yun Hyon Hi, 53'), 11. Kim Kyong Hwa (15. Mun Chol Mi, 70'), 13. Kim Chung Sim (20. Ri Hyon Suk, 103'), 16. Yu Jong Hui, 21. Song Jong Sun

Substitutes: 3. Kwon Jong Sun, 7. Choe UnJu, 12. Kim Un Ju, 17. Jon Myong Hwa, 18. Jon Yun Mi (RGK), 22. Ri Jin Sim (RGK)

Coach: Kim Kwang Min (DPR Korea)