Qantas Young Matildas go down to Brazil

The Qantas Young Matildas have it all to do in if it’s to qualify for the quarter finals of the FIFA U/20 Women’s World Championship after going down to Brazil 2-0 in St. Petersburg.

The Qantas Young Matildas have it all to do in if it-s to qualify for the quarter finals of the FIFA U/20 Women-s World Championship after going down to Brazil 2-0 in St. Petersburg.

Brazil have now moved above Australia on the table and with Russia expected to beat New Zealand in the later game, it is likely that Australia will now need to beat hosts Russia in the final game to qualify.

Australia had a bright first half, which saw them create some terrific chances, but they went behind to a late penalty goal and then as they tried to push players forward in the second half, Brazil caught them with a perfect quick break.

16-year-old Fabiana was the star of the show for Brazil, scoring one goal and being brought down for the penalty after a good run into the penalty box.

The Young Matildas though will rue a number of quality chances in the first half that went begging, which could have turned the tide of the match.

While Brazil always looked the more comfortable on the ball, they struggled to threaten Lydia Williams goal, as the defence was looking strong.

Australia had the first chance of the match after 13 minutes, when Leena Khamis met a superb cross from Collette McCallum with a diving header, which she powered wide.

A minute later Khamis scrambled well to win the ball and feed Ledbrook, who hit a firm shot from the edge of the box straight to the Brazilian keeper.

Dangerous striker Sasha McDonnell then wasted a great opportunity when put through by Khamis on 24 minutes. She took the ball inside the penalty area, but hit her shot straight at the keeper.

Brazil best opportunity so far came in the 30th minute when Maurine chipped her shot just over the crossbar.

Leah Blayney then had another great chance for Australia in the 36th minute, racing onto a superb from Shipard, but she hit a poor first time shot that dribbled wide of the near post.

The turning point of the match came in the 41st minute when Fabiana used her pace to get past Kim Carroll near the by-line and the Young Matildas defender brought her down. Francielle calmly converted although Williams did go the right way.

If Australia were hoping to produce another second half performance like they did against New Zealand, Brazil had other ideas as they stepped it up and dominated.

Williams was twice called into action to make great saves, denying a long range shot from Brazil captain Renata Costa with a finger-tip save that hit the crossbar, while she dived well to deny a Erika header five minutes later.

Clare Polkinghorne almost equalized for Australia in the 63rd minute, with a looping header that just went over the top corner.

Brazil sealed victory when Erika won the ball off McDonnell and surged forward and played a great through ball for the pacy Fabiana. The Brazilian striker got clear of Polkinghorne and she showed terrific composure to slide her shot easily past Williams.

It was a philosophical Edwards after the match.

“No doubt about it they are a class act,” Edwards said of the Brazilian side. “The difference was Fabiana and her pace.

“I am pleased with our performance, albeit not with the finishing though. At this level you have to take your chances and we had ours in the first half and didn-t take them.”

Asked on his thoughts about the game against Russia ahead, Edwards knows it will be tough, but has confidence his team can get a result.

“Russia are a very strong side and they Danilova, who is great player. But take Danilova out of the side and I think we match them around the park. Simple fact is we have to take chances.”

Match Details

Australia 0 Brazil 2 (Francielle pen 41-, Fabiana 69-)

Australian line-up: Lydia Williams (gk); Clare Polkinghorne, Kim Carroll, Danielle Brogan, Olivia Kennedy, Leah Blayney (Servet Uzunlar 80-), Kylie Ledbrook (Jenna Tristram 59-), Sally Shipard (c), Collette McCallum, Sasha McDonnell, Leena Khamis (Amy Chapman 66-) Subs not used: Alison Logue (gk); Nicole Somi, Grace Gill, Amy Jackson, Renee Cartwright, Caitlin Cooper, Kate Stewart (gk)

Cautions: Polkinghorne (10-), Ledbrook (38-)