Matildas squad boosted for crucial DPR Korea match
The Matildas will be boosted by the return from injury of striker Caitlin Munoz and midfielder Danielle Small with coach Tom Sermanni announcing an expanded 21-strong for Sunday’s crucial Beijing Olympic qualifying matches against DPR (North) Korea.
The Matildas will be boosted by the return from injury of striker Caitlin Munoz and midfielder Danielle Small with coach Tom Sermanni announcing an expanded 21-strong for Sunday-s crucial Beijing Olympic qualifying matches against DPR (North) Korea.
The Matildas returned from DPR Korea yesterday after an arduous 40 hour flight following a 2-0 defeat in Pyongyang on Sunday. The two teams will face each other again on Sunday at the BCU international Stadium in Coffs Harbour with the Matildas needing a win to keep their qualification hopes alive.
Munoz and Small are joined by Rhian Davies as additions to the 18 players which traveled to DPR Korea.
“It is valuable to have these players in contention for Sunday-s match and a sign of the excellent depth we now have across the squad,” said Matildas coach Tom Sermanni.
“Caitlin-s return after a lengthy absence is important as she was a real presence in the forward line for us last year adding a good focal point for the attack and her abilities could be useful in Sunday-s match.
The two matches against DPR Korea on Sunday seem certain to determine the qualifier from Group B which also comprises Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei. After two rounds both Australia and DPR Korea have recorded large victories over the other two nations in the group with Australia defeating Hong Kong 15-0 and Chinese Taipei 10-0 in April.
DPR Korea are Asia-s highest ranked team listed at 5 on the FIFA Women-s World Rankings, while Australia are now ranked at an all-time high of 14.
Australia will be without the services of key attacking fullback Heather Garriock who will be forced to sit out with a one-match suspension.
The Matildas squad in Coffs Harbour is::
Goalkeepers - Melissa Barbieri (Melbourne), Emma Wirkus (Adelaide)
Defenders - Di Alagich (Sydney), Rhian Davies (Sydney), Heather Garriock (Sydney), Kate McShea (Brisbane), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane), Cheryl Salisbury (Newcastle), Thea Slatyer (Sydney)
Midfielders - Lauren Colthorpe (Newcastle), Alicia Ferguson (Brisbane), Lana Harch (Brisbane), Collette McCallum (Perth), Joanne Peters (Newcastle), Sally Shipard (Canberra), Danielle Small (Sydney)
Forwards - Joanne Burgess (Sydney), Lisa DeVanna (Perth), Kate Gill (Newcastle), Caitlin Munoz (Canberra), Sarah Walsh (Sydney) (current home city)
The Matildas have already qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup to be held in China this September where they have been drawn against Norway, Canada and Ghana.