Big win for Westfield Young Matildas over Finland
Hat-tricks from Nicole Sykes and Angela Fimmano have helped the Westfield Young Matildas to an emphatic 7-0 win in the 2nd match of the two-game series against Finland, being played in Varese, Italy.
Played in very hot conditions, Coach Alen Stajcic made eight changes from the starting XI that won 4-1 on Saturday, with only Teigan Allen, Bronwyn Studman and Marianna Tabain starting for the second successive game.
The changes though didn't seem to disrupt the team and once again they dominated from the start, although Finland started the first 10 minutes much brighter than they did on Saturday.
However once Nicola Bolger opening the scoring after 12 minutes it was all one-way traffic. Bolger was first to react after Linda O-Neill-s thumping shot from 20 yards hit the crossbar and rebounded back into play.
It was quickly 2-0 three minutes later when a Finnish defender was adjudged to have handballed in the penalty box and Fimmano scored with a hard low shot that was too powerful for the Finn keeper. .
Sykes grabbed her first goal in the 21st minute, when she met Ella Mastrantonio free kick at the back post and headed home.
Finland-s best period came in last 15 minutes of the first half and they had several chances at goal, but were unable to pull a goal or two back.
The best chance of the match for the Finn-s came straight after half time, when a goalmouth scrambled developed from a corner, but the shot at goal was cleared off the line by O-Neill and then hacked away by Allen to safety.
Australia though reasserted its authority and Sykes had her hat-trick of goals within the space of two minutes. The first in the 50th minutes was a terrific shot on the turn into the top right hand corner and then two minutes later she managed to race away from the Finn defence and slotted home a great shot across the keeper and inside the far post.
There was no letting up from Australia and five minutes later, Fimmano had her second goal when she raced onto a nice cutback from Ashleigh Sykes and her shot from 16 yards, too a slight deflection on its way into the net.
Samantha Kerr could have added her name to scorers list but shot wide in a one-on-one with the Finn keeper
Fimmano grabbed her hat-trick in the 70th minute, when she raced onto a nice ball from Nicole Sykes and slot home from close range.
The final 10 minutes saw Finland launch a few attacks as Australia relaxed, but found Casey Dumont to keep a clean sheet, the Brisbane Roar player denying the Finn-s a goal in injury time with a great save from close range.
Stajcic was obviously again impressed with the team-s performance, but knows that Germany in two days time will be a different story.
“It was a pleasing performance, especially in the attacking third with good quality finishing,” he said.
“It-s more impressive when you consider nine of the eleven starters were aged 17 and under.
“But once again still lots of room for improvement if we are to compete against the likes of Germany (Wednesday) and the top Asian nations at the AFC Championships in a few months- time.
“I was really pleased for Nicole Sykes, as this was debut for the team and to score a hat-trick is a fantastic effort. She has shown rapid improvement this year,” he added.
Australia-s next match is against Germany on Wednesday and they will then play several Italian Women-s teams before heading back to Australia via Thailand, where they will play the Thai U20 Women-s team on June 6.
Australia 7 (Nicole Bolger 12, Angela Fimmano 15' pen/57'/70', Nicole Sykes 21'/50'/52') Finland 0
Australian line-up: Casey Dumont (gk); Teigan Allen (Karina Roweth 60-), Jessica Seaman, Bronwyn Studman, Marianna Tabain (Kyah Simon 73-), Ella Mastrantonio, Linda O'Neill, Nicola Bolger (Ashleigh Sykes h/t) , Nicole Sykes, Samantha Kerr, Angela Fimmano