Westfield Matildas beat Mexico 3-1 in Korea
Westfield Matildas kick-off the Peace Cup with a win
The Westfield Matildas have kicked-off their 2010 Peace Queen Cup campaign with a dominant 3-1 win over Mexico in game one of Group B.
Goals to Kate Gill, Collette McCallum and a 40-yard volley from Sally Shipard sealed the win before Mexico snuck a consolation goal late on.
The Westfield Matildas were into the action early and in the 9th minute Sam Kerr was brought down on the edge of the box after cutting inside her defender.
The resulting free-kick was expertly taken by McCallum, who neatly bent the ball around the Mexican wall only to see goalkeeper Erika Gonzalez scramble to push the ball to safety.
McCallum-s dead ball quality was on show again in the 24th minute when her corner floated in forcing Gonzalez to push the ball onto her far post before watching it bounce out into the six-yard-box and again cleared to safety.
The Aussies received another free-kick following some great build up play down the right.
Caitlin Munoz, returning to the Westfield Matildas starting line-up after a near two year layoff with injury, was deft enough to turn and beat her defender on the edge of the box but was subsequently fouled for her effort.
McCallum again stepped up to take the free-kick, and this time left nothing to chance as she curled a beautiful left footed strike from the right hand side of the box into Gonzalez-s top right corner.
McCallum was again quickly in the action and her 29th minute corner to the near post found Gill whose precise flicked header from the edge of the six-yard-box again left Gonzalez helpless in the Mexico goal putting the Australians two goals up.
On 42 minutes Westfield Matildas goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri was eventually brought into the action when Mexican striker Dominguez hit a long range free-kick.
But her effort, from well outside the box, was an easy save for Barbieri and acted as the only threat to the Westfield Matildas- goal in the opening half.
Following the half time break Westfield Matildas Head Coach Tom Sermanni made one significant change, resting playmaker Collette McCallum for the second period and bringing on talented midfielder Aivi Luik who won her 8th cap since debuting in early 2010.
The Westfield Matildas third goal in the 63rd minute, arguably one of their most spectacular in recent memory, came following a free-kick from inside their own half.
With the ball floated up field Gill calmly chested the ball down to an unmarked Shipard who, with a first time volley from just outside the centre circle, smashed home a spectacular long range goal sending the Aussie bench into raptures.
Mexico however responded quickly to with a ball down the right hand side crossed into the Australian penalty area.
A failed clearance fell to striker Maribel Dominguez who made no mistake with a first time finish from close range.
On 74 minutes Australia had a great opportunity to score a fourth when Munoz played a through ball for youngster Sam Kerr, who cut inside her defender and with only Gonzalez to beat pushed her shot just past the right hand post.
Westfield Matildas Head Coach Tom Sermanni was pleased with the way his team played after minimal preparation for the tournament.
“The girls won a hard fought contest against a tough and competitive Mexican team,” said Sermanni.
“I was especially please with the way our team played in the first half.
“This tournament acts as Mexico-s final preparation before they go into their World Cup qualifiers next month so to win this opening match is a great start for the team and a good indication of where we-re at.”
The Westfield Matildas play their next match on October 19 against Taiwan.
2010 Peace Queen Cup Australia 3 (Collette MCCALLUM 26-, Kate GILL 29-, Sally SHIPARD 63-) Mexico 1 (Maribel DOMINGUEZ 64-) Sunday, 17 October 2010 Suwon World Cup Stadium, Korea Republic
Westfield Matildas line-up: Melissa BARBIERI (gk) (c), Clare POLKINGHORNE (Kyah SIMON 77-), Servet UZUNLAR, Kim CARROLL, Lauren COLTHORPE, Collette MCCALLUM (Aivi LUIK 46-), Sally SHIPARD, Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT (Teigen ALLEN 77-), Sam KERR, Caitlin MUNOZ (Thea SLATYER 86-), Kate GILL (Leena KHAMIS 72-)
Substitutes not used: Tameka BUTT, Lydia WILLIAMS (gk)