McCallum double gets Australia home

Qantas Young Matildas star Collette McCallum has scored two of the most bizarre goals to get Australia off to a winning start at the FIFA U/20 World Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Qantas Young Matildas star Collette McCallum has scored two of the most bizarre goals to get Australia off to a winning start at the FIFA U/20 World Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia.

McCallum-s two goals plus a header virtually right on full time from captain Sally Shipard, gave the Young Matildas a comfortable, but far from convincing 3-0 win over New Zealand.

While Australia dominated proceedings, especially in the second half, it wasn-t until late in the match that Australia put the result beyond doubt with two goals in the final ten minutes.

McCallum-s goals though will be the talking point; with her two strikes a personal embarrassment for the New Zealand keeper Clansey.

Her first goal in the 39th minute came after her inswinging corner sailed over Clansey-s head and directly into the goal. The second goal came with ten minutes remaining when her attempted cross from wide on the right, again deceived Clansey and sailed over her head.

Shipard finished off the scoring 92nd minute, heading home Ledbrook-s deep corner to the back post.

Young Matildas coach Alistair Edwards while delighted with the win, was not totally satisfied with the performance and knows that improvement will be needed.

“Not totally,” was Edwards response when asked if he was satisfied with the performance. “Results wise it was good to get off to that sort of start. I thought we did okay but we can do better.

“It was a slow start but that had a lot to do with New Zealand playing five in midfield. Second half we played football we know we are capable of and it was a very, very good performance by the girls.”

Indeed Edwards knows his girls could have won more convincingly and in what is regarded as the toughest group; goals difference could become all-important at the end.

It was a nervous start by both teams, although New Zealand probably had slightly the better of play and tested the Australian defence on several occasions.

However once the Aussies settled down and found their passing range they started to put pressure on New Zealand. The first chance of the match should have resulted in a goal for New Zealand after 26 minutes. From a corner on the right, Lydia Williams misread the flight of the ball and Rishworth from 2 metres out, headed over the bar.

That seemed to wake the Australian team up and almost immediately they had their first chance with Clare Polkinghorne heading wide.

Leah Blayney and Leena Khamis then had half chances in quick succession, while Blayney spurned a great chance when she sliced a first time shot wide from just inside the penalty area.

The dangerous Sasha McDonnell then brilliantly beat her marker inside the penalty area and fired a shot which the New Zealand keeper Clansey parried to her own advantage.

Six minutes before the half time break, the inevitable breakthrough came, albeit in unusual circumstances. Collette McCallum swung over an inswinging corner, which caught Clansey out and the ball sailed over her head and into the goal.

Clansey almost gifted Australia a second goal right on half time, when she failed to hold a Kylie Ledbrook free kick, fortunately for her the ball went on the outside of the post.

The Australian-s came out with renewed determination after the break and had the New Zealand defence under plenty of pressure.

Blayney should have scored when put through inside the penalty box in the 56th minute, but her shot was hit straight at Clansey. This came seconds after Khamis was just inches away from grabbing a goal, unable to get enough on the ball as she stretched for a McDonnell cross.

Williams only real action came two minutes later, when she made a good save at near post to deny Reilly who outsprinted Kennedy down the right.

It was end to end action as just minutes later Clansey made a full stretch diving save to deny Blayney again.

McDonnell-s pace was causing the Kiwi defenders problems and she managed too shrug off two defenders on a surging run, but could only shoot into the side-netting.

Australia-s pressure was finally rewarded when McCallum scored her second goal from wide on the left and Shipard capped off a solid performance in the middle of the park, by making the scoreline more convincing with virtually the last play of the game.

What will be a concern for Edwards will be the three yellow cards to key players Shipard, McCallum and Blayney and they will have to be careful in their next match against Brazil that they don-t pick up another and get suspended for the Russia game.

Australia leads the Group A after the first round of games, with the two favourites to go through to the next round, hosts Russia and Brazil played out a 0-0 draw.

Match Details

Australia 3 (Collette McCallum 39-/ 80-, Sally Shipard 92-) New Zealand 0

Australian line-up: Lydia Williams (gk); Clare Polkinghorne, Kim Carroll, Danielle Brogan, Olivia Kennedy, Leah Blayney (Caitlin Cooper 91-), Kylie Ledbrook, Sally Shipard (c), Collette McCallum, Sasha McDonnell (Servet Uzunlar 85-), Leena Khamis (Jenna Tristram 70-) Subs not used: Alison Logue (gk); Nicole Somi, Grace Gill, Amy Jackson, Amy Chapman, Renee Cartwright, Victoria Balomenos, Kate Stewart (gk)

Cautions: Shipard (25-), McCallum (68-), Blayney (71-)

Australia's next match is against Brazil on Sunday @ 4pm (10.00pm AEST) with delayed coverage @ 11pm on SBS.