Five-goal Gill destroys Chinese Taipei
The Qantas Matildas have made a clean sweep of the first phase of their 2008 Olympic qualifiers, with an emphatic 8-1 win over host nation Chinese Taipei at Chungsung Stadium, Kaohslung on Sunday night. Kate Gill scored five goals, as Jo Peters celebrated 100 international caps in the match.
The Qantas Matildas have made a clean sweep of the first phase of their 2008 Olympic qualifiers, with an emphatic 8-1 win over host nation Chinese Taipei at Chungsung Stadium, Kaohslung on Sunday night.
Star of the show was Newcastle striker Kate Gill, who scored a career-best five goals, three of which came via headers. Sarah Walsh, Danielle Small and Jo Peters, who was celebrating her 100th full international appearance in the match, were the other goal scorers.
Gill-s height proved troublesome for the smaller opposition defenders and she was able open the scoring after 14 minutes with a great finish from Heather Garriock-s cross.
Gill doubled the lead in the 26th minute with a volley from 6 yards, while it was 3-0 three minutes later, when Sarah Walsh tapped in from a Jo Burgess cut back.
Chinese Taipei however pulled a goal back in the 35th minute, when they were able to capitalize on a defensive blunder and the ball was played in and finished neatly from 15 metres out.
However Gill restored the three-goal advantage just minutes before the break, with her second headed goal from another Walsh cross.
There was no stopping her in the second half either, and just four minutes in, the same combination of Gill and Walsh combined for Gill to score her fourth goal with a header from close range.
However the biggest celebration was saved for 100-gamer Peters when she lashed home a shot from the edge of the area. It was just reward for the midfielder, who has served the national team for almost 11 years, since making her debut in March 1996.
The goals kept coming however, with Danielle Small getting in on the act, when she headed home a Collette McCallum corner.
Gill grabbed her fifth and the teams eighth in the dying minutes, tapping home from close range after a good cut back from Burgess.
Gill could have scored a sixth but was denied by the post, as was Joanne Burgess with a header.
“I-m quite pleased with the performance with all the players maintaining their focus and intensity despite the lop-sided nature of the match,” says Qantas Matildas coach Tom Sermanni.
“We have now laid a good foundation for the commencement of the next stage of qualifying in April, though we still have a little bit of work to do in order to bring us to the level that we were at for last year-s World Cup qualifiers.”
The Qantas Matildas win ensures top place in the four-team preliminary Olympic qualifying group following wins earlier in the week over Myanmar and Uzbekistan.
Australia will now move into the second and final stage of qualifying which will commence in April. Two groups of four will compete for just two qualifying berths with the Qantas Matildas drawn alongside Asia-s top team, DPR Korea, as well as Chinese Taipei, plus one of Korea Republic, India or Hong Kong.
The Qantas Matildas have already qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup also to be held in China, September 10-30.
Australia 8 (Kate Gill 14-/26-/44-/49-/90-, Sarah Walsh 29-, Jo Peters 72-, Danielle Small 83-) Chinese Taipei 1 (Pei-Wen Tzai 35-)
Australia Line-up: Melissa Barbieri (gk); Di Alagich, Cheryl Salisbury (c), Kate McShea (Thea Slatyer h/t), Heather Garriock; Collette McCallum, Joanne Peters, Joanne Burgess; Kate Gill, Sarah Walsh (Lana Harch 76-), Caitlin Munoz (Danielle Small 69-) Subs Not Used: Emma Wirkus (gk), Clare Polkinghorne, Lauren Colthorpe, Karla Reuter, Rhian Davies, Sasha McDonnell
Cautions: Peters 68-