Matildas win big in final home match prior to World Cup

The Matildas secured a comprehensive 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei at the BCU International Stadium in Coffs Harbour in what was the team’s final home match prior to next month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.

The Matildas secured a comprehensive 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei at the BCU International Stadium in Coffs Harbour in what was the team-s final home match prior to next month-s FIFA Women-s World Cup in China.

Australia dominated from the opening exchanges and held a 3-0 lead at half time before rounding out the scoring with four unanswered goals in the second period.

Striker Caitlin Munoz led the way with a hat-trick while there were also goals for Sarah Walsh, Heather Garriock, Joanne Peters and substitute Kate Gill. Australia hit the frame of the goal on several occasions while Garriock and Gill also had goals disallowed.

“In the end it was a satisfactory performance from our team today,” said Matildas coach Tom Sermanni.

“Credit to Chinese Taipei, they made life difficult for us by camping up to nine players within the final third of the pitch for most of the game. We probably anticipated them playing like they did over in Taiwan when they played higher up the field which we were able to exploit a little easier. It took us some time to break them down and every time we did work the ball into the penalty area they had lots of bodies on hand.”

“Ultimately it was a good workout and I was quite satisfied by the way we played.”

“The game allowed us a very good opportunity ahead of the World Cup next month to look further at our structure and our personnel.”

“We are building up quite solidly for next month, with two matches this week in China and I-m fairly satisfied with our progress at this stage.”

Attacking fullback Garriock appeared to have opened the scoring in just the third minute when she followed up a blocked Munoz shot however the offside flag was already raised. The Australians were not to be denied and from the following passage of play Munoz opened her account with a stunning near-post flick from a Walsh ball from the right.

Joanne Burgess saw her chipped shot headed off the line after 20 minutes and then captain Cheryl Salisbury glanced a header narrowly wide from a pinpoint Garriock corner.

Walsh soon doubled the lead with the pint-sized striker showing impressive tenacity to fend off a defender and prod past the goalkeeper from near the penalty spot.

It was then Garriock-s turn to strike from similar range when she pounced on a rebound after Walsh-s close-range strike was parried by the overworked goalkeeper.

Munoz and Walsh combined seven minutes prior to the interval to set up an opportunity for vice-captain Peters however her shot was marginally too high clipping the top of the crossbar.

Peters did get on the scoresheet on the hour mark sweeping up the crumbs after Salisbury-s firm header hit the crossbar from another telling Garriock corner.

Substitute Gill had a goal disallowed for a contentious offside while Peters- fierce long-range effort forced visiting goalkeeper Ya-Wen Fan into a fine sprawling save.

Munoz bagged her second with just eight minutes left on the clock with a low snapshot after Chinese Taipei failed to clear the ball.

The visitors faded late in the match with Australia making plenty of inroads especially through Walsh on the right flank who proved to be the provider for the final two goals.

Firstly Munoz executed a text-book volley to complete her hat-trick before Gill finished from close range to bring the scoring to a close.

The result confirmed Australia finished second in Group B of the Asian qualifying for the Beijing Olympics. Asia-s top ranked team DPR Korea claimed the only qualification berth in the group courtesy of two wins over the Matildas in June.

The 21-strong Matildas World Cup squad will now take the field in their final international matches prior to the World Cup when they meet host nation and world number 11 China next Thursday and Sunday in Tianjin.

The Matildas will conclude their preparations with a five day camp in Sydney immediately prior to the team-s departure to the World Cup on September 5.

Australia will open their campaign against Ghana on September 12 in Hangzhou, followed by the match against Norway on September 15 in the same city before the final group match against Canada on September 19 in Chengdu.

Australia 7 (Caitlin Munoz 3'/82-/84-, Sarah Walsh 25-, Heather Garriock 31-, Joanne Peters 60-, Kate Gill 89-)

Chinese Taipei 0

Australian line-up: Melissa Barbieri (gk), Kate McShea, Thea Slatyer, Cheryl Salisbury, Heather Garriock (Lisa DeVanna 67-), Alicia Ferguson, Sally Shipard (Kate Gill 67-), Joanne Peters, Joanne Burgess, Caitlin Munoz, Sarah Walsh.

Cautions: Garriock 50-

Referee: Sung Mi Cha (Korea Republic)

Attendance: 1,186

The Matildas squad for the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup:

Goalkeepers - Melissa Barbieri (Melbourne), Lydia Williams (Canberra), Emma Wirkus (Adelaide)

Defenders - Di Alagich (Sydney), Rhian Davies (Sydney), Heather Garriock (Sydney), Kate McShea (Brisbane), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane), Cheryl Salisbury (Newcastle), Thea Slatyer (Sydney)

Midfielders - Lauren Colthorpe (Newcastle), Alicia Ferguson (Brisbane), Collette McCallum (Perth), Joanne Peters (Newcastle), Sally Shipard (Canberra), Danielle Small (Sydney)

Forwards - Joanne Burgess (Sydney), Lisa DeVanna (Perth), Kate Gill (Newcastle), Caitlin Munoz (Canberra), Sarah Walsh (Sydney) (current home city)

BEIJING OLYMPIC QUALIFYING FIXTURES Australia v Hong Kong 15-0 Saturday 7 April, 3pm BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour

Chinese Taipei v Australia 0-10 Sunday 15 April, 4pm Chungshan Stadium, Kaohslung, Chinese Taipei

DPR Korea v Australia 2-0 Sunday 3 June Yanggakdo Stadium, Pyongyang

Australia v North Korea 0-2 Sunday 10 June, 3pm BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour

Hong Kong v Australia 1-8 Saturday 4 August Hong Kong Football Club

Australia v Chinese Taipei 7-0 Sunday 12 August, 3pm BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour

TV SBS TV will broadcast a selection of matches from the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup including LIVE coverage of ALL Matildas matches, both semi-finals and the final.

Broadcast Schedule:- Wednesday 12 September Ghana v Australia LIVE @ 6.50pm (AEST)

Saturday 15 September Australia v Norway LIVE @ 9.50pm (AEST)

Wednesday 19 September Australia v Canada LIVE @ 6.50pm (AEST)

Wednesday 26 September 1st Semi-Final LIVE @ 9.50pm (AEST)

Thursday 27 September 2nd Semi-Final LIVE @ 9.50pm (AEST)

Sunday 30 September Final LIVE @ 9.30pm (AEST)