Matildas get home against tough Canadians

The Matildas will go to the Asian Women’s Cup next week in a positive frame of mind after they defeated Canada 2-1 in their friendly international at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight.

The Matildas will go to the Asian Women-s Cup next week in a positive frame of mind after they defeated Canada 2-1 in their friendly international at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight.

First half goals by Amy Chapman and Caitlin Munoz had Australia 2-0 ahead at the break, but the Canadians pulled a goal back through Kara Lang and then hit the crossbar twice in the second half.

Australia started the match well and captain Cheryl Salisbury had the first chance when her shot was tipped around the post by Erin McLeod.

They continued to put pressure on the Canadian penalty area and it finally told in the 22nd minute, when Amy Chapman scored after she pounced on a rebound of Catlin Munoz- excellent shot on the turn.

Two minutes if probably should have been 2-0 when a quick counter, saw the ball come out to Ellyse Perry, who was called into the starting line-up late after Jo Burgess was forced to withdraw late. Perry-s first time cross found Munoz, who headed wide from close range, but luckily for her, she was ruled offside in any case.

Walsh then went close, before the Canadians had their first decent chance on the half hour mark, when they almost scored from a defensive mix-up. Polkinghorne however saved the day to clear the danger.

The lead was doubled five minutes before the break, when Collette McCallum took a free kick that released Perry down the right and her first time cross, was glanced home by a superb header by Munoz.

Australia started the second half where they left the first and were pressuring the Canadian goal, with McCallum, Perry and Colthorpe all having shots at goal.

But against the run of play, Canada equalized as they countered quickly, with captain Christine Sinclair sent clear. She rounded Williams, but her shot was blocked by Polkinghorne, which rebounded out to Lang, whose shot went in off a prone Salisbury on the goal line.

Two minutes later Australia suffered another blow when Walsh had to be carried off on a stretcher with a leg injury, later revealed as bruising to the shin.

The goal seemed to lift the Canadians, who came at the Australian defence and twice almost had an equaliser with Tancredi and then Sinclair crashing shots against the crossbar.

Kyah Simon saw a header tipped around the post late in the game and Australia were able to hang on for a hard earned and determined win typified by a length of the field run from stoic defender Kate McShea despite tired legs.

The Matildas now head for Vietnam where they will play the Asian Women-s Cup. There first game is on Saturday 28th May against Chinese Taipei.

Coach Tom Sermanni was pleased to get the win and with the performance of his players, especially the younger girls.

“It was a good, hard fought win

Match Details

Australia 2 (Amy Chapman 22-, Caitlin Munoz 40-) Canada 1 (Kara Lang 55-)

Australian line-up: Melissa Barbieri (gk) (Lydia Williams ht); Clare Polkinghorne, Kate McShea, Cheryl Salisbury, Di Alagich, Ellyse Perry, Lauren Colthorpe, Amy Chapman (Tameka Butt 77-), Collette McCallum, Caitlin Munoz (Jenna Tristram 66-), Sarah Walsh (Kyah Simon 60-)

Subs from: Karla Reuter, Amber Neilson, Ella Mastrantino, Kim Carroll

Cautions: Alagich (83-)