Matildas make it win number two
The Matildas have virtually quaranteed their place in the semi finals of the Asian Women's Cup, after recording a solid 2-0 win over Korea Republic in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Australia are just a whisker away from a semi final berth at the AFC Women's Asian Cup after a solid 2-0 win over South Korea tonight at the Thong Nat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Defender Ellyse Perry scored a deserved opening goal for Australia hitting a spectacular low drive from 30 yards on the half hour mark.
The Matildas doubled their advantage mid-way through the second half with Lisa De Vanna racing onto a Heather Garriock pass to outpace the defence and finish past an exposed Korean goalkeeper.
Australia were impressive in dominating possession and created numerous goal scoring opportunities throughout the match while at the other end Australian goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri was rarely troubled.
"It was an extremely pleasing result not only in terms of the scoreline but also the football performance," said coach Tom Sermanni.
"We dominated lengthy periods of the match but couldn't quite convert that into goals but aside from that it was extremely pleasing.
"We now have to focus on regrouping and focussing our energies towards the Japan match tomorrow."
The match started promisingly for Australia with Garriock twice testing the goakeeper with volleyed efforts on target. The early pressure gathered momentum and eventually told with the opening goal. Collette McCallum's free kick on the edge of the penalty area struck the wall and rebounded to fullback Perry who rifled an impressive low first time strike.
Australia had claims for a penalty after Kate Gill appeared to be pulled down as a McCallum corner caused chaos in the penalty area.
Australia lost skipper Cheryl Salisbury to a calf injury and soon after came South Korea's best chance of the match some five minutes before the break with the No 8 shooting into the arms of a well positioned Barbieri.
Australia started the second half strongly with a sublime through ball from McCallum hunted down with typical speed by De Vanna who prodded her shot wide under heavy challenge from a Korean defender.
The match started to open up as Korea dispensed with a conservative approach that was evident in the first half with De Vanna and Garriock proving particularly dangerous. It was those two that combined with a driving Garriock run from halfway ending with De Vanna stabbing an awkward chance over from close range.
Korea attempted to lift their attacking tempo but the defensive quarter of Perry, Clare Polkinghorne, Di Alagich and substitute Kate McShea defended resolutely.
A Garriock cross saw Gill knock the ball down but De Vanna blazed over from 15 yards.
Moments later though De Vanna celebrated her 50th cap in style with a goal like many that have gone before; easily outrunning a square defence and slipping the ball comfortably past the goalkeeper.
It was nearly two for De Vanna soon after with the impressive Colthorpe winning the ball as she had done throughout the match, feeding De Vanna whose dipping effort was well tipped over the bar.
McCallum hit the crossbar in the dying stages with a snap shot from outside the penalty area after a Gill layoff, and then substitute Caitlin Munoz' spectacular overhead kick was directed towards goal but too high to trouble the goalkeeper.
The win means Australia face Japan on Monday needing just a draw to guarantee top spot in Group B and with it a semi final appearance. Australia could still miss out on the semi finals if they lose to Japan, and South Korea secure a heavy victory over Chinese Taipei.
Australia now meet Japan in the final group game on Monday at 8pm (AEST).
You can watch highlights of the game against Korea Republic on The World Game program from 4-5pm on SBS.
Australia 2 (Ellyse Perry 30', Lisa De Vanna 70') South Korea 0
Australian line-up: Melissa Barbieri (gk); Ellyse Perry, Cheryl Salisbury (Kate McShea 38'), Clare Polkinghorne, Di Alagich, Amy Chapman (Kyah Simon 68'), Lauren Colthorpe, Collette McCallum, Heather Garriock, Lisa De Vanna (Caitlin Munoz 78'), Kate Gill.
Referee: Bentla D'Coth (India)