Sunday, 4 May 2008

Matildas lose but also win?

Matildas lost 5-4 to the USA this morning Aussie time, (report below) but SBS are reporting that Frank Lowy's Westfield group are about to Sponsor the Matildas. I'd heard it would be the National Women's League, so maybe both.

Makes sense on many many levels. I guess that's at least 3 or maybe 5 if you shop at Westfied's of course. On yer Frank!


It was a case of déjà vu for the Australian women's football team in their second friendly international against the USA early this morning in Birmingham, USA. A last minute goal by the US, earned the home side a 5-4 victory in a pulsating match in which the Matildas rallied from 4-1 down to almost snatch victory.

Trailing by three goals going into the second half, the Matildas staged a remarkable comeback to level it 4-4 after just 69 minutes. They seemingly had earned a deserved draw with the World No.2, when the US’s Angela Hucles touched home from close range in the 94th minute after a free kick into the box was flicked into her path.

With two minutes of normal time remaining, Matildas midfielder Lauren Colthorpe was a coat of paint away from giving Australia the lead, her strike from distance crashing against the crossbar.

"The players did so well today and I felt we deserved to win," said coach Tom Sermanni.

"At 4-4 I thought we were going to win the match. We had the momentum but the USA is a quality side and they snatched the game right at the end."

"I was proud of the way the girls fought out the match. Once again we fell behind but never gave in."

Australia led 1-0 after 19 minutes, courtesy of an own goal by the US, but two goals in as many minutes soon after had the US in front.

"After scoring the opening goal we seemed to look like strangers for a while," added Sermanni.

"It wasn't until we went 4-1 down that we turned things around and then we dominated the second half for long periods."

The US took a 3-1 lead into half time with a goal just minutes prior and literally from the kick-off to the second half made it 4-1.

But the Matildas showed their fighting spirit and three minutes later, Sarah Walsh scored from close range and it was game on.

Australia was pressing on the artificial pitch and Colthorpe pulled another goal back in the 64th minute, with a terrific angled shot from 18 metres.

Five minutes later, it was all tied up when Jo Burgess’ excellent cross was turned into the net by a US defender trying to deny Walsh her second goal, setting up a fantastic finish.

But the US showed its true grit, and the reason it is ranked second in the world also when, they somehow plucked out a winner in the final minutes.

"Overall I am very pleased with the trip. We showed that we can go 90 minutes with the best in the world and it holds us in good stead ahead of the Asian Cup," said Sermanni.

The Asian Women's Cup will be held in Vietnam later this month.

Match Details

Australia 4 (OG 19’/69’, Sarah Walsh 49’, Lauren Colthorpe 64’)

Australia line-up: Melissa Barbieri (gk); Kim Carroll, Cheryl Salisbury, Clare Polkinghorne (Kate McShea 58’), Carla Reuter, Lauren Colthorpe, Collette McCallum, Jo Burgess (Kyah Simon 75’), Heather Garriock, Kate Gill (Caitlin Munoz 85’), Sarah Walsh

Subs Not Used: Lydia Williams (gk); Di Alagich, Amber Neilson, Jo Peters, Amy Chapman, Sally Shipard, Selin Kurulay, Leah Blayney

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