Qantas Matildas come home late to beat Mexico
The Qantas Matildas have come from a goal down to defeat Mexico 2-1 in their clash at the MCG. Kate Gill and Cheryl Salisbury scored the late goals.
The Qantas Matildas have come from a goal down to defeat Mexico 2-1 in their clash at the MCG.
In the curtain-raiser ahead of the much-anticipated friendly between the Socceroos and Greece, the Qantas Matildas were forced to come from behind in a physical encounter against the Central Americans.
Collette McCallum set up both goals from dead-ball situations with Kate Gill heading home the first from a corner and Cheryl Salisbury getting a faint touch from a free kick late in the game to secure the win.
Monica Ocampo scored Mexico's goal in just the 13th minute, a short time after Gill had hit the post. The skilful Mexican striker struck home a precision shot from the left after being put through by Padilla. For most of the first half, it was Australia, ranked No.15 in the world, which dominated possession, but the home side was unable to convert that pressure on the scoreboard.
Pamela Tojonar in the Mexican goal had a relatively quiet first half, with the Matildas unable to turn their midfield dominance into dangerous attacking opportunities.
Gill was proving a handful for the visitors and left her mark on one Mexican defender who was carried from the ground after a collision in the penalty box early in the second half. When Lisa De Vanna shot wide with only Tojonar to beat, it appeared it was not going to be the Australians' night
But in the 75th minute, Gill rose from a scrimmage on the goal line after a corner from the left hand side saw Tojonar stumble, and headed home.
Ocampo could have grabbed a second for the visitors when a defensive error saw her one-on-one with Melissa Barbieri, but Barbieri saved well. Salisbury was then able to slip through the defence five minutes from the end and head home the winner.
After the match, a delighted Qantas Matildas coach Tom Sermanni said, “Yeh, it-s always good to win. I am delighted, particularly in the second half, with the way they came back.
Sermanni though was not that pleased with the start by his side, but praised them for coming back in the second half.
“I thought we started a little bit sluggish in the first half and Mexico made life difficult for us by playing deep and playing lots of players behind the ball. They also had some good skilful players to hit us on the break.
“That was a good experience for us to play teams that play like that. I think the second half we stepped up a level and came back into the game and it was good to come back from behind and win,” he added.
Australia 2 (Gill 75-, Salisbury 84-) Mexico 1 (Ocampo 13-)
Qantas Matildas: Melissa Barbieri (gk); Cheryl Salisbury (C), Heather Garriock, Jo Peters, Lisa De Vanna (Caitlin Munoz 70-), Kate Gill, Thea Slatyer, Collette McCallum, Sally Shipard, Dianne Alagich (Kate McShea h/t), Jo Burgess (Sarah Walsh h/t)