Saturday, 6 March 2010

Matildas Magic Moments.

The DPR Koreans are nobs of the highest order. When the Matildas gained a penalty at the end of the first half, the Koreans walked to the sideline on masse and delayed the game for a further five or more. Each one starting with the Keeper should have been booked. Why weren't they?

Or the penalty be taken without a keeper. AFC should do them, but this was good practice for Australia as we may have to play them in the AFC third place play-off for the World Cup and it will be game on then...and all the Aussie games are live on ABC in May. Bravo!

A great bit of interplay between Kyah Simon, Kate Gill and Collette MaCallum saw Simon released (almost) in the final moment of the Matildas North Korea game. Simon had more than a bit to do.

She did it and scored a wonderful team and individual goal to defeat DPR Korea 3-2 and send the Aussies off to the World Cup qualifiers in May, a la the Asian Cup, in good spirits.

A new formation, 1-4-3-3 it looked to me anyway, and a new result, against Korea.

Korea were recently beaten 3-0 by Germany so they may not be the power they once were.

Last time we played them, for Olympic qualification we were soundly beaten, outclassed, even at home 2-0.

At times the Koreans did it nicely and they still have some dynamic players, but they are young, so young. This much younger Korea team seemed to struggle against the Aussies to control the ball, and game compared to previous Olympic qualifiers.

Australia it seems with Kylie Ledbrook, Claire Polkingthorne, Lauren Colthorpe, Elise Kellond-Knight perhaps offering an improved technical performance from the Matildas. Time will tell. But with Tameka Butt, Heather Garriock, Sally Shipard, and Kyah Simon adding much either in this game, or in future games that World Cup qualification spot does not seem out of reach for the Green and Gold.

Has the W-League improved the technical play of our plays. From this performance I'd say it has.

That said Korea with their 24/7 football system still have a technical edge and maybe they are keeping a few of the older stars up their sleeve. Who knows.

Lisa De Vanna was herself, Sarah Walsh played wide and wonderful early on, but the whole team seemed to struggle once their engines dropped.

Indeed Kate Gills poor challenge prior to the goal showed the importance of defending from the front. Particularly in a 1-4-3-3 system. Allowing the defender to drift passed her resulted eventually in Kim Carroll and Thea Slatyer being sorely exposed with further defensive errors. The Korean striker finished nicely but there were many many errors from the Matildas along the way.

Melissa Barbieri had a confident game, and this is good to see.

And it seemed to me that with an improved short passing performance from the Matildas players, Australia would have walked this game. How many times when we looked so good, so comfortable on the ball did we not make that simple pass? Hundreds.

We did pass well despite my latter comment and the final goal proved it.

We have the talent, the movement but can we improve our passing? If we can we'll qualify for the World Cup for sure.

Come on the Matildas!

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