Westfield Young Matildas go down to China

The Westfield Young Matildas hopes of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA U20 Women's World Cup has become a touch more difficult after they were beaten by China 2-1 overnight in Wuhan.

Australia's U-19 Women's team, the Westfield Young Matildas, have lost 1-2 overnight against China PR at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Women's Championships in China.

Australia started well with an attempt by Elise Kellond-Knight coming close to scoring after just five minutes. Her shot from wide beat the Chinese defence but the goalkeepers toe prevented the ball from crossing the line.

The early attacks did not stop there with China PR finding the back of the net in the 10th minute after Casey Dumont had problems covering a long range attempt. Dumont made a valiant recovery save but not quite enough to smother the ball and China PR's Lou Jiahui swept in to tap the ball in from the goal line.

Australia were less composed on the ball in comparison to the attacking China PR team and although the Westfield Young Matildas were combining well up the field, China PR were quick on the counter attacks which made for a tough game from the outset.

In the 38th minute Kellond-Knight had an opportunity to equalise from a free kick. Her attempt seemed goal-bound, but the China PR keeper was able to tip the ball onto the post. The defence then scrambled to clear the ball to deny the Australian's a goal.

Not more than five minutes later, a China PR free kick in their attacking half saw a quick passage of play down the left with a cross in that was neatly slotted home from 10 metres out in front by Jiahui for China PR's to double their lead.

A late attack from Australia in the dying minutes of the first half could not be converted and the exciting first half closed with the Westfield Young Matildas looking to improve on their performance thus far.

The second half started with the same high level of intensity from both teams as the first half. Australia appeared to put themselves under pressure at times by giving the ball away and not closing down quickly enough. Despite this, the Westfield Young Matildas were still placing China PR under pressure with several attempts on goal being saved well by the Chinese keeper.

Australia were rewarded for their persistence in the 75th minute when Samantha Kerr beat her defenders down the right before sending in a pin-point cross to Kyah Simon who finished the ball with a superb volley from 15 metres out .

The remainder of the match saw the Australia fight hard applying pressure to the China PR's defence but were unfortunate not to find the back of the net and the match concluded with China through to the final four of the Championships.

The Westfield Young Matildas will next meet Chinese Taipei on tomorrow (Wednesday 5 August) in the AFC U-19 Women's Championships 2009. The Championships serve as the qualifying championship for next year's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. The Westfield Young Matildas will need to win by more than five goals, and rely on a win by China over Japan, to progress to the semi-finals.

Match Details

China PR 2 (Lou Jiahui 10'/42') Australia 1 (Kyah Simon 75') Hankou Sports Culture Stadium, Wuhan, China

*please note - full match report not available at time of release

Australia line-up: Casey DUMONT (gk), Karina ROWETH, Rebecca KITING, Jessica SEAMAN, Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, Teresa POLIAS, Marianna TABAIN (Nicola BOLGER 65'), Teigen ALLEN (Samantha KERR 53'), Tameka BUTT (c), Kyah SIMON, Angela FIMMANO (Ashleigh SYKES 45+2')

Yellow cards: Angela Fimmano 41', Ashleigh Sykes 63' Red cards: Jessica Seaman 95'

For further information on the AFC U-19 Women's Championships 2009, please visit the AFC's website www.the-afc.com