Chapman seals win for Matildas
The Matildas have won the second match of their three-game series against New Zealand, 2-1 at Stockland Park on the Sunshine Coast earlier today. The match was delicately poised at one apiece at half time, with Amy Chapman netting the winner just minutes into the second half.
The Matildas have won the second match of their three-game series against New Zealand, 2-1 at Stockland Park on the Sunshine Coast earlier today.
The match was delicately poised at one apiece at half time, with Amy Chapman netting the winner just minutes into the second half.
While the scoreline suggests this was a fairly close match, Matildas coach Tom Sermanni was a little concerned after the match, with the Matildas wasting a host of good chances that should have been reflected on the scoreboard.
Australia again went into the match with a mixture of experience and youth, with QAS youngster Brooke Spence, called into camp at late notice, making her national debut late in the match.
Despite going into a stiff wind in the first half, Australia started strongly and should have had the lead in the 14th minute. Collette McCallum-s wicked corner needed two headers off the line to relieve the danger.
The breakthrough came eight minutes later, when McCallum swung over a great ball in from left to the far post. The defender-s clearance went straight to Kate Gill on the edge of the box and her low, solid finish beat the dive of the NZ keeper.
Australia continued to press forward and creating chances, but some poor finishing and near misses saw the score stay at 1-0.
The Matildas were then made to pay for the missed opportunities, as NZ got their way back into the match and scored an equalizer.
A NZ counter-attack saw a long ball played in behind the defence and Emma Kete raced away to be 1:1 with Melissa Barbieri and she nicely placed her shot home from the edge of the box.
Stung by the equaliser at the break, the Matildas came out fired up at the start of the second half and grabbed back the lead just a little over a minute into the half.
McCallum was again the architect and it was her great low ball in from left to far post, which found Chapman lurking and her solid finish from close range was never going to miss.
Australia continued to dominate and put enormous pressure on the NZ defence, but finding the killer third goal was proving difficult.
Sarah Walsh thought she had it in the 70th minute when her shot looked in, but the NZ keeper tipped the shot onto the post and the ball came back into her grateful arms. Two minutes later, Walsh saw her chipped shot beat the keeper, but it sailed over the bar.
The NZ keeper again pulled off several great saves in the space of few minutes. First she tipped over Cheryl Salisbury-s goalbound header and then denied Walsh again.
Even though the chances went begging, Matildas keeper Melissa Barbieri was never threatened in the second half and Australia ran out comfortable winners.
Sermanni, while happy with the win, was concerned his team was not more ruthless in front of goal when it needed to be.
“I-m happy to win the game,” he said. “I felt we should have scored more goals given the number of chances we had and the score didn't reflect the number of chances we had.
“Pleasing considering the number of changes to the team and the number of young players on the field.
“The games continue to be valuable. NZ are here with better preparation than us and some players have had the opportunity to show if they can play at this level. Also pleasing that Brooke (Spence, who also trains with QAS softball) had the opportunity to get her first cap.”
Australia 2 (Kate Gill 22-, Amy Chapman 47-) New Zealand 1 Matildas line-up: Melissa Barbieri (gk), Clare Polkinghorne, Amy Chapman (Vicki Balomenos 75-), Cheryl Salisbury, Amber Neilson (Renee Rollason 62-), Caitlin Munoz, Sarah Walsh, Kate Gill, Collette McCallum (Brooke Spence 84-), Sally Shipard, Elise Kellond-Knight (Tameka Butt 59-) Subs not used: Karla Reuter, Lydia Williams (gk), Jo Burgess, Casey Dumont Unavailable: Heather Garriock, Lisa de Vanna, Lyndsay Glohe
Cautions: Salisbury (58-)
New Zealand line-up: 1 Jenny Bindon 2 Ria Percival 3 Merissa Smith 4 Emily McColl 5 Abby Erceg 6 Maia Jackman 8 Hayley Moorwood 10 Annalie Longo 11 Kirsty Yallop 12 Alii Riley 14 Renee Leota Subs: 7 Simone Ferrara 9 Wendi Henderson 13 Hannah Bromley 15 Emma Kete 16 Rachel Howard
Van Marwijk: Socceroos must create more chances against Denmark
Bert van Marwijk says a repeat of the performance against France is the bare minimum for the Socceroos as they look to keep their FIFA World Cup™ hopes alive against Denmark on Thursday night (AEST). Australia takes on Denmark at 10pm on Thursday in Samara – live on SBS and Op
Press conference: van Marwijk and Behich talk ahead of Socceroos v Denmark
Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk and Aziz Behich have fronted the official pre-match press conference ahead of Australia’s crucial Group C clash against Denmark in Samara on Thursday night (AEST). After a first-up loss to France on the weekend, the Socceroos will be chasing all
UPDATE: 2018 FIFA World Cup™ broadcast details
Optus has announced that all the remaining group matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ will now also be simulcast on free-to-air TV on SBS. The decision was announced on Wednesday afternoon as the Telco deals with issues surrounding their service, including dropouts and other fa