Qantas Young Matildas Win Easily

The Qantas Young Matildas have won their opening AFC Under 20 Women’s qualifying match 6-2 against host nation Thailand tonight.

The Qantas Young Matildas have commenced their FIFA U-20 Women-s World Championship campaign in confident style recording a convincing 6-2 victory over Thailand in Bangkok overnight.

Queensland striker Sasha McDonnell (pictured right) scored twice, while Kim Carroll, Jenna Tristram, Caitlin Cooper and Leena Khamis all scored one goal apiece.

Although Australia largely dominated the match which was played played in high humidity, it took two late goals to increase the winning margin after Australia had led 3-2 with ten minutes remaining and 3-1 at half time.  The goal tally could have been increased even further with Collette McCallum hitting the woodwork and Sally Shipard seeing her penalty saved.

"For our first game in AFC competition it was a great result against difficult opposition and under challenging conditions," said Qantas Young Matildas coach Alistair Edwards.

"What was also pleasing aside from the winning margin, is that this performance provides a platform for the team to improve even further.  The team is improving each time we take the field, and we hope to carry this form into our next match on Tuesday against what is an unknown opponent for us (Myanmar)." 

Australia pressed from the start of the match with their reward coming in the 14th minute, after a succession of corners. From the third corner, a scramble developed and the ball fell for Carroll six yards out and she was able to volley home.

However a miscued back-pass by Carroll six minutes later, finished with Thailand equalizing and it stayed that for another 20 minutes.

Australia continued to dominate and went ahead in the 40th minute, when Tristram neatly tucked home a cross by Clare Polkinghorne.

Right on half time, McDonnell tapped in from close range after good lead up play by Collette McCallum and Kylie Ledbrook.

The second half started much the same as the first, but they were unable to make the most of opportunities that were created. The best of these chances was in the 69th minute when McCallum hit the post from a free kick and from the rebound Cooper headed over the bar.

Thailand pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute and this seemed to spur the girls with McDonnell fouled in the penalty box three minutes later. However Sally Shipard-s spot kick was brilliantly turned around the post by the Thai keeper.

Australia though continued to press and when Cooper cracked an unstoppable shot from outside the penalty box, the game was as good as won.

The score blew out in injury time with McDonnell grabbing a second goal and then Leena Khamis lunged to tap home a free kick right on full time.

Should Australia defeat Myanmar tomorrow, the team will progress to the AFC u-20 Women's Championship to be played in Malaysia in April 8-18.

The top three Asian teams will qualify for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women-s World Championship to be played in Russia in September. 

Match Details

Thailand 2 (Chidtawan Chawong 20', Anootsara Maijarean 73') Australia 6 (Kim Carroll 14', Jenna Tristram 40', Sasha McDonnell 49'+, 91', Caitlin Cooper 80', Leena Khamis 94')

Australian line-up: Lydia Williams (gk); Danielle Brogan, Kim Carroll, Olivia Kennedy, Clare Polkinghorne, Amy Jackson (Caitlin Cooper 67'), Sally Shipard (C), Collette McCallum, Kylie Ledbrook, Jenna Tristram (Leena Khamis 58'), Sasha McDonnell

Cautions: Shipard 30'

    The Qantas Young Matildas squad competing in Thailand is:

Goalkeepers Lydia Williams (ACT), Alison Logue (NNSW), Kate Stewart (QLD)

Defenders Clare Polkinghorne (QLD), Kim Carroll (QLD), Nicole Somi (ACT), Danielle Brogan (NSW), Grace Gill (ACT), Olivia Kennedy (NSW)

Midfielders Sally Shipard (NSW), Kylie Ledbrook (NSW), Collette McCallum (WA), Amy Jackson (VIC), Servet Uzunlar (NSW), Renee Cartwright (NSW), Caitlin Cooper (NSW), Vicki Balomenos (SA)

Forwards Jenna Tristram (NNSW), Sasha McDonnell (QLD), Leena Khamis (NSW)

Thailand v Australia (2-6) Supachalasai Stadium, Bangkok Sunday 5 March, kick-off TBC

Australia v Myanmar Supachalasai Stadium, Bangkok Tuesday 7 March, kick-off TBC

Thailand v Myanmar Supachalasai Stadium, Bangkok Thursday 9 March, kick-off TBC