Korea Republic too good for Westfield Women's U17

Australia commenced their 2011 AFC U16 Women’s Championships with a defeat at the hands of Korea Republic.

Australia commenced their 2011 AFC U16 Women-s Championships with a defeat at the hands of Korea Republic. Despite a promising start which saw the Westfield National U17-s Women-s team create their first goal scoring opportunity inside 45 seconds of play, a headed attempt by Jones was comfortably saved by the Korean goalkeeper, Yukyeong, after a penetrating run and in swinging cross from Meg McLaughlin.

The Westfield National U17-s Women-s team dominated possession in the first 15 minutes of play, displaying precision passing, but were unable to break down a disciplined and well organised Korean defence, lead by their captain Hyeyeong.

In the 16th minute, Australia-s defence was tested and stretched, when Kim Soyi latched onto a defence splitting pass, however, some brilliant goalkeeping by Edmonds denied what was surely Korea-s first goal. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Edmonds was quick off her mark to narrow the angle down and force a save to prevent the Korean-s from going one up. Australia soon replied with their own attack in the 18th minute, however, the shot lacked power.

A minute later, Korea broke the deadlock against the run of play. Once again, the Koreans were able to pin point a perfect diagonal ball behind the Australian defence, with speedster Kim Soyi this time not making a mistake. The quick striker side footed the ball out of the reach of an advancing Australian goalkeeper Edmonds, who had no chance this time of performing any heroics.

The goal seemed to unsettle the Westfield National U17-s Women-s team, with Korea now slowly gaining more ball possession and working their way into the game. As time ticked by, the Koreans grew in confidence, with the Australian-s battling to regain their rhythm.

In the 33rd minute, Edmonds was once again called into action, with Kim Soyi utilising her speed and strength to out run the Australian defence, only to see her attempt at goal palmed away. Central defender, Elizabeth Ralston, was a consistent performer throughout the first half, marshalling and controlling the Australia back line, often winning many battles and covering large areas of the field.

With Australia-s pressure game slightly decreasing, the Koreans found an opening through the Australian midfield to once again slip a through ball behind the defence. A timely ‘third man- run by Hee Eun was at the receiving end of the perfectly weighted pass, with the youngster swiftly slotting home Koreans second.

At half time, Westfield National U17-s Women-s Coach, Vicki Linton, introduced Breanna Sampson in place of Adriana Jones.

Soon after the break, Australia found themselves 3-0 down, after a lack of concentration saw the Koreans gifted their third. A poorly timed and executed back pass fell into the path of Kim Soyi who easily scored from close range. Despite the scoreline, Australia continued to play some quality football, and once again, dominated the possession count. A golden opportunity to get on the score board was missed in the 51st minute when Australia managed to play out from deep within their defensive half, only to see McLaughlin-s shot from 10 yards nicely saved by the Korean goalkeeper. The Australians continued to control the game, with attack after attack, but despite their efforts, went unrewarded.

The Korean coach, Jeung Youn Sam then made two changes in the space of nine minutes in hope of settling his side. Australia too made a substitute, with Adelaide-s Ebony Philcox making way for Sydney based Natalie Tobin.

Amy Harrison could have had her name on the score sheet in the 70th minute when she found herself with time and space at the back post, only to see her shot fall directly into the arms of Yukyeong. Three minutes later, Sampson struck a well hit volley from close range after a lofted cross from Checker down Australia-s right wing, but again, the Korean goalkeeper was well positioned to make the save. Sampson was causing havoc amongst the Korean defence, and almost scored on a quick transition in the 76th minute. After stealing the ball from a napping Korean defender, Sampson broke away with the ball and found herself on route to goal, shooting earlier and only narrowing missing the target.

The Australians continued to press forward for their first goal and temporarily fielded 10 players due to blood rule. It was at this time, the final nail in the coffin arrived in the 89th minute when Yeji cheekily finished from inside the 18 yards box.

In true Australian spirit, the Westfield National U17-s Women continued to search for their first goal of the tournament, however, time eluded them and the match finished 4-nil.