Qantas Young Matildas Through To AFC Championship

The Qantas Young Matildas are through to the 2006 AFC Women’s Under 19 Championship next month in Malaysia, after a comprehensive 6-0 win over Myanmar tonight.

The Qantas Young Matildas have qualified for the AFC U19 Women-s Championship in Malaysia next month, after a convincing 6-0 win over Myanmar at the Supachalasai National Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on Tuesday night.

A hat-trick from Kylie Ledbrook (pictured right) was the highlight with Servat Uzunlar grabbing a double and Sasha McDonnell a single goal.

Played in high humidity, Australia dominated from the start with Myanmar content to sit deep and let Australia come at them.

It wasn-t long before Australia capitalised on their dominance, Ledbrook grabbing the first goal after just 14 minutes. Clare Polkinghorne-s long ball in behind the defence was met by Ledbrook at the far post and she angled her shot back across goal and inside the far post.

McDonnell doubled Australia-s lead in the 34th minute, racing onto a great ball from Ledbrook and beating the Myanmar keeper from 10 yards out.

Collette McCallum almost made it 3-0 before half time, with her fierce strike from outside of the box, tipped onto the crossbar by the Myanmar keeper.

The second half was more of the same, with Australia creating a host of chances but failing to convert.

The eventual third goal came with 20 minutes remaining, when Uzunlar pounced on the loose ball from a scramble that had developed, after McCallum-s drive from outside of the area, hit the crossbar and rebounded back into play.

Ledbrook added her second goal in the 78th minute with a good solo effort, carrying the ball some 30 metres, before unleashing a shot from the edge of the area that gave the keeper no chance. She completed here hat-trick in the 85th minute, curling a free kick into the top left corner from 20 metres.

Uzunlar wrapped up the impressive win three minutes later, beating several defenders at the top of the penalty box and hitting a low shot that again gave the keeper no chance of saving.

Coach Alistair Edwards was pleased with the win, but acknowledged more needs to be done in time for the AFC Championships.

“We controlled the game from the start to finish,” said a happy Edwards. “Myanmar presented a different challenge to Thailand, and the players adapted very well.

“We've played four games in the last 2 weeks (2 games v NZ, plus these two qualifiers), and scored 19 goals for and 3 goals against. The improvement in the team in this time has been very pleasing.

“Our results have been good, but we know that we've still got some work to do before the AFC Championships in Malaysia.”

Match Details

Australia 6 (Kylie Ledbrook 14-/78-85-, Sasha McDonnell 34-, Servat Uzunlar 70-/88-) Myanmar 0

Australia: Lydia Williams (gk); Clare Polkinghorne, Danielle Brogan (Grace Gill 53-), Kim Carroll, Olivia Kennedy, Sally Shipard (c), Jenna Tristram (Renee Cartwright 65-), Sasha McDonnell, Kylie Ledbrook, Collette McCallum, Amy Jackson (Servat Uzunlar 34-)   Cautions: Nil 

Edwards will keep the girls in Thailand for several more days, for extra training in the humid conditions, in preparation for the same conditions when it plays at the finals in Malaysia next month.

Five of the squad have returned to Australia early, to join up with the Qantas Matildas, who are in camp in Canberra.