Monday, 28 April 2008

On your marks Heather Garriock

Get set, go. The Matildas may have lost to the USA today, see FFA report below, but Heather Garriock has no time to dwell on the game.

She's flying back to Denmark for the Cup Final and then will fly back to the USA for Saturday's international in Birmingham, Alabama.

Come on Heather, hurry up, change your boots and go. And good luck!


The United States Women's Football team have grabbed a dramatic late winner to record a 3-2 win over the Matildas in an international match at Cary, North Carolina today.

The number one team in women's football appeared to be cruising with a 2-0 lead heading into the final 10 minutes of the match but late goals from Kate Gill (86th minute) and Australian captain Cheryl Salisbury (88th) saw the scores tied at 2-2 heading into extra time .

But there was one more twist to come. The USA won a free kick from 30 metres out, with the cross punched into the air by Matildas goalkeeper, Lydia Williams, only to see it fall to American midfielder Carli Lloyd who headed the ball into the back of the net to seal a dramatic win.

Torrential rain prior to kick-off saw the match delayed by almost an hour but when the match finally did get underway both teams had good chances to score early.

The USA took the lead when Natasha Kai slotted home in 35th minute after a great pass into the box from Lloyd.

Early in the second half it became 2-0 when Amy Rodriguez made a 35 yard run before crossing to Abby Wambach who headed home.

Gill's goal for Australia was set up midfielder Heather Garriock, playing her 100th full international, crossed the ball to find Gill at the back post to head home.

Soon after the restart Lori Chalupny was judged to have handled the ball in the penalty box. Salisbury 's shot was initially blocked by goalkeeper, Hope Solo, before heading home the rebound to tie the scores.

Matildas Coach Tom Sermanni said the Australians did well to stay in the match after falling behind.

"The pitch drained well and it was very slick and created a fast-paced match which suited the USA more than us," said Sermanni.

"The team responded well to going two goals behind. When you are playing the number one team in the world you could throw in the towel at that point but we didn't and that was very pleasing."

" Having said that, it was disappointing to get it back to 2-2 and then concede again but we did superbly well to draw level.

"The USA has played at least a dozen matches against top teams and there was a bit of a difference in match fitness but we did well to come back late in the game ," Sermanni said.

The Matildas will play their second match against the USA on Saturday 3 May in Birmingham, Alabama and Sermanni indicated he will make some changes.

"Several players who didn't start will be given an opportunity in the next match," added Sermanni.

"We had the chance to give some of the younger players their first really tough international match today and they played well especially Lydia Williams who made some great saves in difficult conditions."

Sermanni also paid tribute to Garriock who became the youngest Australian footballer to reach 100 caps.

"Heather had a tremendous game and it's testimony not only to her ability but her commitment that she has reached this milestone," said Sermanni.

"She is a player who you can pick every game. She is always available and it says a lot about her character and commitment ."

"Over the three and a bit years I have been in charge she has matured into a seasoned professional international player."


USA 3 (Kai 35', Wambach 49', Lloyd 90+') defeated Australia 2 (Gill 86', Salisbury 88')
at WakeMed Stadium; Cary, N.C.


AUS: 18-Lydia Williams; 3-Karla Reuter (19-Kim Carroll, 76), 5-Cheryl Salisbury – Capt., 11-Clare Polkinghorne, 16-Lauren Colthorpe; 7-Heather Garriock (2-Kate McShea, 89), 13-Amy Chapman (12-Kate Gill, 58), 14-Collette McCallum, 15-Sally Shipard (6-Amber Neilson, 65); 9-Sarah Walsh (22-Selin Kuralay, 82), 17-Kyah Simon (20-Joanne Burgess, 59).
Subs not used: 1-Melissa Barbieri

USA: 18-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts (26-Rachel Buehler, 53), 3-Christie Rampone – Capt., 15-Kate Markgraf (4-Cat Whitehill, 46), 17-Lori Chalupny; 9-Heather O’Reilly (16-Angela Hucles, 67), 7-Shannon Boxx (5-Lindsay Tarpley, 68), 11-Carli Lloyd, 13-Tobin Heath (21-Kacey White, 46); 6-Natasha Kai (19-Amy Rodriguez, 46), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 1-Briana Scurry

Next Match
Saturday, May 3
USA v Australia
Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama, 4pm local time (7am AEST Sunday)
Stuart Hodge

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