Japan down Westfield Young Matildas

Hopes still remain high for the Westfield Young Matildas following their narrow defeat to Japan at the AFC U19 Women’s Championship in Vietnam.

Hopes still remain high for the Westfield Young Matildas following their narrow defeat to Japan at the AFC U19 Women-s Championship in Vietnam.

In a predicted high pressure game, the opening minutes certainly lived up to the expectations at the Thong Nhat stadium last night.

The Westfield Young Matildas were unfortunate not to secure a point from the match, ending with Japan winning 1-nil.

The first half proved to be of high intensity and possession was evenly shared, presenting opportunities for both sides to edge ahead.

Emily van Egmond was early to fire a long range shot at the Japanese goal keeper Mochizuki in the opening few minutes only for it to bounce awkwardly in to her grasp.

Japan soon answered back with a quick counter attack forcing Casey Dumont into a fine save.

In the 35th minute Kahlia Hogg struck from outside the box which would have seen Australia lead heading in to the change rooms at half time, unfortunately it deflected enough off a defender and wide of the goal.

Minutes before the half time whistle a lapse in the concentration by the young Australian side saw Japan go in front following a magical display of skill down the left hand side by Mai Kyokawa who then snuck the ball in between Dumont and her near post.

Having returned from the tunnel star substitute Emily Gielnik was quick to make an impact after replacing Marianna Tabain at half time, causing some unease amongst the Japanese defense. A high looping ball from midfielder Teigen Allen fell in to her stride.

Gielnik unleashed a powerful shot only for it to be palmed away by the Japan goalkeeper and out for a corner.

A succession of chances for the Japanese side resulted due to continual lapses in concentration amongst the Australian camp. Although solid performances by Alana Kennedy and Rebekah Stott in the centre of defense spoiled much of the Japanese attack.

Casey Dumont-s physical presence was also an influential contribution as the match played out.

The Westfield Young Matildas were unlucky not to equalise when in the 86th minute substitute Vedrana Popovic-s strike was blocked. Followed closely by a set piece finding the head of Gielnik inside the 6-yard-box, glancing the ball just past the goal.

The Australian side did not capitalise on their set pieces. Wayward deliveries were making it difficult for them to utilise their height advantage.

Westfield Young Matildas Head coach Jeff Hopkins felt the game was difficult to sum up.

“Japan were very good tonight and caused us a lot of problems. I am disappointed in some respects. We missed a couple of chances that really could have gotten us a draw,” Hopkins said.

“But in saying that I have no qualms in saying they were the better team tonight.”

The extra day of rest between the next match will be well received amongst the team and coaching staff. Tonight-s match was the third in only five days, bodies are battered and bruised. Most of all tired.

“Obviously we can digest the loss tonight, but we must remind ourselves that our destiny is still in our hands,” Hopkins continued.

“The coaching staff and I will sit down and think about how we want to attack the next two games. I think we will go about things in a similar way, but we need to be more clinical in the final third.

“For the next game we have to make sure our game plan is right and everyone is on the same page.”

Due to the result of the respective game between China and South Korea, the Westfield Young Matildas destiny of FIFA U20 World Cup qualification remains in their hands however they must win their next two games.

The Westfield Young Matildas will play South Korea on the 13 October in the penultimate must win game of their FIFA U20 Women-s World Cup qualification matches.

Live match updates and behind the scenes stills and footage will be available via Girls FC Facebook www.facebook.com/girlsfc and Twitter http://twitter.com/FFAGirlsFC

Westfield Young Matildas v Japan 2012 FIFA Youth World Cup Qualifiers Australia 0 Japan 1 (Mai KYOKAWA 42-) Monday, 10 October 2011 Thong Nhat stadium, Vietnam

Westfield Young Matildas line-up: Casey DUMONT (gk), Stephanie CATLEY, Rebekah STOTT, Alanna KENNEDY (c), Hannah BREWER, Kahlia HOGG (19. Vedrana POPOVIC 60-), Emily VAN EGMOND,Teigen ALLEN, Marianna TABAIN (6. Emily GIELNIK 45-), Tara ANDREWS, Ashley BROWN (19. Linda O-NEILL 85-)

Yellow cards: Teigen ALLEN

Red cards: Nil