The Westfield Young Matildas will not feature at next year’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in France after they suffered a 3-0 defeat to China PR in the play-off for third-place at the 2017 AFC U19 Women’s Championship on Saturday.
A 20th minute goal to defender He Luyao combined with second half strikes to Xie Qiwen and Jin Kun helped hosts China claim the third and final AFC place for France next year at the expense of Gary van Egmond’s girls.
The Westfield Young Matildas will return to Australia on Monday after their campaign came to a close.
During their China excursion, the Westfield Young Matildas secured Group Stage wins over Korea Republic and Vietnam. They then lost consecutive matches against Japan and DPR Korea (Semi Final) – the two teams who will compete in the competition’s Final – as well as China.
Following Saturday’s match van Egmond congratulated China on their win, and said that Australia must continue to work hard in the field of youth development.
“I am extremely proud of the girls’ effort throughout the tournament, but today was too big a step, and I’d like to congratulate China on their win,” said van Egmond.
“We have to work with our development pathway to produce better technical players and players with better understanding.
"In the first half we struggled to string two passes together, and when you play the game we want to play – which is based on keeping the ball – this becomes a big issue,” he said.