Young Matildas lose opener against Japan
The Young Matildas have lost their opening match of the AFC U/19 Women’s Championships, 1-0 to a very good Japan side in Chongqing, China.
The Young Matildas have lost their opening match of the AFC U/19 Women-s Championships, 1-0 to a very good Japan side in Chongqing, China.
The result leaves the side needing to beat defending world champions DPR Korea in its final group match to have any chance of qualifying for the semi finals and a possible place at next years FIFA U/20 World Championships.
Japan dominated the first half and were rewarded with a half time lead thanks to a 21stt minute goal from Kira, who pounced after the ball ricocheting amongst legs in the penalty box.
In the opening five minutes, Young Matildas keeper Lydia Williams had to make two good stops to deny Japan, while overall the Japanese controlled possession and had more shots at goal than Australia.
Japan started the second half, much like the first half and Williams again was in the thick of the action, making a sensational save in the 52nd minute to prevent Japan doubling their lead.
It was only with 20 minutes to go that Australia was able to put any real pressure on the Japanese goal with Elise Kellond-Knight (twice) and Caitlin Cooper having chances to equalise, but were unable to fin the target.
Coach Alen Stajcic said the girls will now have to regroup for a do-or die clash with DPR Korea in two days time.
“Japan were technically better than us and more consistent throughout the game, but we had the better of them physically,” Stajcic said.
“We dominated the last 20 minutes, going for the equaliser and created a few good chances but unfortunately we just couldn't get the last touch.
“Now we will regroup over the next day and prepare for the next game against DPR Korea, which we must win.”
Australia 0 Japan 1 (Kira 21-)
Australian line-up: Lydia Williams (gk), Clare Polkinghorne, Rachel Doyle, Caitlin Cooper, Lydnsay Glohe, Ellyse Perry (Servet Uzunlar 56'), Renee Rollason (Kyah Simon 65'), Teresa Polias, Elise Kellond-Knight, Tameka Butt, Vicki Balomenos (Jenna Kinglsey 72') Subs Not Used: Olivia Kennedy, Grace Gill, Stacey Day, Ella Mastrantonio, Ashleigh Connor, Casey Dumont, Rachel Cooper
Cautions: Rollason (23-), Kellond-Knight (36-)