Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Matildas are the Asian Champions

The Matildas’ win in the Women’s Asian Cup is the highest achievement of any Australian football team to date, excluding Oceania titles.

Australia’s acceptance as a member of the Asian Football Confederation was an important step and is starting to bear fruit.

As the Asian Champions, Australia qualifies for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals next year, along with DPR Korea and Japan.

The Matildas won the Asian Cup in a penalty shoot-out on Sunday night in the final against DPR Korea at the Chengdu Sports Centre in China.

Played in monsoon conditions, Australia scored first in the 19th minute through 16-year-old Samantha Kerr, from an assist by Clare Polkinghorne.

Jo Yun-mi, 23, the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, equalised in the 73rd minute.

The teams were level at 1-1 after 90 minutes and neither side could break the deadlock in extra-time.

Australia won the penalty shoot-out 5-4.

It was a triumph for Matildas’ coach, Scottish-born Tom Sermanni, who is in his second stint as coach of the Matildas.

He took the job for the second time in 2005 and Australia made the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2007.

Australia’s win was the more commendable when one considers DPR Korea’s record. They have won three of the last four titles, while China has won seven titles in the period 1986 to 1999 and in 2006.

Congratulations must also go to Tasmania’s Lucy Macgregor, who has been selected to represent Australia at the Under-13 Festival of Football in Vietnam from 20 June to 3 July.

Isabella Gee has been named on the stand-by list should there be any injuries.

Meanwhile, the Socceroos meet Denmark in South Africa this evening in a World Cup warm-up match.


The Phoenix said...

Fantastic result for Womens football.

Tommy said...

This is a fantastic result.

Anonymous said...

good young team lots of potential

callan said...

good to see some great young players in tasmania get a go and no doubt their experience through futsal has given them extra help in their development