The Westfield Matildas were unable to follow up an impressive first up performance at the 2015 Cyprus Cup as they went down 3-0 to a Jodie Taylor inspired England in the early hours of this morning AEDT.
Taylor, who played under Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic during the last Westfield W-League for Sydney FC, scored all three goals to put England, who are ranked sixth in the world, on top of the group.
Facing a team that had the luxury of rotating their entire squad as they brought in practically a new starting eleven for the match, the Westfield Matildas found themselves two goals behind after 17 minutes and never managed to recover despite creating their share of chances.
After the match, a disappointed Stajcic said it was a game his team would need to learn from going into June’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 in Canada.
“There were some good patches but there were a lot of lessons to be learnt, we got caught on the hop in the first 15 minutes and it was a naive performance both with and without the ball,” Stajcic said.
“We probably had about 70 per cent of the possession and 70 per cent of the chances but our execution wasn’t as good as theirs and it was a big learning experience against a style of play that we need to do better against.”
Stajcic made three changes to the line up from the first up win over the Netherlands with Laura Alleway partnering Clare Polkinghorne in the centre of defence, while Larissa Crummer and Alanna Kennedy also started.
The Westfield Matildas had a number of corners early on but in the 8th minute Taylor pounced with an unstoppable strike from outside the penalty area to give England the lead.
Taylor then struck again in the 17th minute, this time expertly lofting the ball over the head of Westfield Matildas goalkeeper Brianna Davey.
The Westfield Matildas tried to force their way back into the contest, striker Michelle Heyman with two chances in the first 12 minutes of the second half but she could not find the back of the net.
Davey did well to deny Taylor in the 62nd minute before Stajcic went to his bench and made a host of changes including switching his goalkeepers as Davey was replaced by Mackenzie Arnold.
Clare Polkinghorne almost pegged a goal back for the Westfield Matildas with ten minutes to go after a goalmouth scramble but it was Taylor who would cap off a memorable afternoon as the English striker completed her hat trick in the 84th minute capitalising on a defensive mix up at the back.
In the other Group B match, the Netherlands and Finland played out a nil-all draw. The Westfield Matildas take on Finland in their final group match early on Tuesday morning Australian time (kick-off 2.30am AEDT).
For more information and results from the Cyprus Cup, visit http://www.cypruswomenscup.net/.
See all of the Westfield Matildas’ games at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 live on SBS ONE.
Westfield Matildas 0
England 3 (Taylor 8’/17’/84’)
@ GSP Nicosia, Cyprus
Westfield Matildas starting line-up: Brianna Davey (gk) (Mackenzie Arnold (gk) 74’), Servet Uzunlar (Hayley Raso 71’), Clare Polkinghorne, Laura Alleway, Steph Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight, Alanna Kennedy (Nicola Bolger 61’), Katrina Gorry (Emily van-Egmond 61’), Larissa Crummer (Caitlin Foord 71’), Michelle Heyman (Kyah Simon 85’), Lisa De Vanna
Substitutes not used: Collette McCallum, Gema Simon, Ashleigh Sykes, Kate Gill, Teresa Polias