Qantas Matildas lose to USA
The Qantas Matildas have been defeated 2-0 by the USA in their second Group B Peace Cup match in Cheonan, South Korea. The USA, reigning Olympic champions and ranked number two in the world, scored both goals in the first half courtesy of strikes from veteran skipper Kristine Lilly and midfielder Natasha Kai.
The Qantas Matildas have been defeated 2-0 by the USA in their second Group B Peace Cup match in Cheonan, South Korea.
The USA, reigning Olympic champions and ranked number two in the world, scored both goals in the first half courtesy of strikes from veteran skipper Kristine Lilly and midfielder Natasha Kai.
Both goalkeepers were busy in an open first half before Lilly opened the scoring, with her shot from 15 metres taking a slight deflection past Australian goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri into the roof of the net.
Australia looked likely to equalize soon after Lilly-s 20th minute opener but Joanne Burgess- volley from 10 metres struck the frame of the goal.
The USA doubled their advantage in the 35th minute with Kai completing a simple finish after Barbieri had been drawn wide attempting to smother a shot from Abby Wambach.
The Australians made plenty of inroads down the flanks with Burgess on the right and both Joanne Peters and Heather Garriock on the left unsettling their opponents on a number of occasions.
Just prior to the interval Burgess did well to beat a couple of opponents but her shot didn-t have sufficient power to trouble USA custodian Briana Scurry.
The match settled after the interval with Australia having slightly the better of proceedings maintaining possession for lengthy periods however the USA defended stoutly limiting the number of clear goalscoring opportunities.
The best chance of the second half for either side falling to Australia with Garriock striking a difficult volley just wide of the post after a neat interchange of passes on the edge of the penalty area.
Coach Tom Sermanni made three changes to the side which defeated the Netherlands on Sunday bringing in midfielder Burgess and youngsters Lauren Colthorpe and Clare Polkinghorne in place of Collette McCallum, Kate McShea and Lana Harch.
“Whilst always disappointing to lose and also to concede the goals the way we did I-m very happy with our overall performance,” said Qantas Matildas coach Tom Sermanni.
“I actually feel we outplayed the USA for much of the game especially in the second half as we maintained possession for lengthy periods and were solid at the back.”
“I-m also very pleased with the teams performance in matching the power and athleticism of the USA given the respective preparation of the two teams with our squad only having two brief camps since July-s Asian Championship.”
“I tried a couple of things to try and counter some of the oppositions strengths and perhaps indirectly that proved costly in terms of disruption to the way we normally do things defensively.”
“We may also have played a little too openly in the first half but on the positive side that shows that we now have the confidence to take it to the top teams in the world which is a sign of the progression that the team continues to make.”
The Qantas Matildas, ranked 15th in the world, will complete their group fixtures with a match against the world number ten Denmark on Thursday.
In the other group match Denmark defeated the Netherlands 1-0 leaving the USA and Denmark on four points, Australia 3 and Netherlands 0.
Australia 0 USA 2 (Kristine Lilly 20-, Natasha Kai 35-)
Australian line-up: Melissa Barbieri (gk); Rhian Davies (Kate McShea 58-), Clare Polkinghorne (Kim Carroll 58-), Cheryl Salisbury (c), Heather Garriock; Alicia Ferguson (Collette McCallum 78-), Lauren Colthorpe, Joanne Burgess (Danielle Small 68-), Joanne Peters; Caitlin Munoz (Kate Gill 69-), Sarah Walsh (Lisa De Vanna 69-)
Unused substitutes: Emma Wirkus (gk), Karla Reuter, Lana Harch
USA line-up: Briana Scurry (gk); Heather Mitts (Kathryn Markgraf h/t), Christie Rampone, Catherine Whitehill, Natasha Kai, Marcia Miller, Christina Frimpong (Lori Chalupny h/t), Kristina Lilly (Lindsay Tarpley 84), Angela Hucles, Abby Wambach, Joanna Lohman
Referee: Kim Eun Jin (South Korea)
Official Crowd: 8,215
Australia's match schedule:
29 October v Netherlands in Gimhae (1-0 win, Sarah Walsh 67-) 31 October v USA in Cheonan (2-0 loss)
2 November v Denmark in Suwon (7pm AEDT)
The two group winners will meet in the final:
4 November: Final in Seoul (3.30pm AEDT)
Further Qantas Matildas information including player profiles is available at the following link:-
See the following link for further tournament information:
The Qantas Matildas will commence their 2008 Olympic qualifying campaign in February next year having been drawn in Group C of the first stage of qualifying alongside Chinese Taipei, Myanmar and Uzbekistan. Should they finish top two in the group the team will progress to the final stage of qualifying and another four team group where world number seven DPR Korea will be the seeded team. The final stage of qualifying will be held between April and August with only the top team in each group to progress to the 2008 Olympic Games.
Australia finished second in the AFC Women-s Asian Championship last July in Adelaide and qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup scheduled for September 10-30 in China.