The Westfield Junior Matildas rounded out their AFC U-16 Women’s Championship 2017 campaign with a 3-2 win over Bangladesh in Chonburi, Thailand on Sunday.
Laura Hughes (9’), Kyra-Cooney-Cross (78’), and Sofia Sakalis (83’) grabbed the goals for Rae Dower’s girls as the Westfield Junior Matildas secured their first victory of the tournament in their final group game.
Earlier in the competition Australia were defeated by two of the tournament favourites, Japan and DPR Korea.
The win over Bangladesh ensured that Australia finished in third place in Group B, however the Westfield Junior Matildas will not advance to the Semi Finals.
Dower expressed praise for her players after the Bangladesh battle, and explained how her team rallied from 2-1 down early in the second half to secure the win.
“I couldn't be more proud of the players and all the hard work they put in to grind out a victory against a very determined Bangladesh team,” said Dower.
“We scored a good goal early and created enough chances to be four or five goals up. A clumsy challenge on the edge of the box gave away a penalty to Bangladesh, and another defensive error early in the second half saw us go behind 2-1.
“Full credit to the team for finding a way to get back into the game. We brought on some fresh legs and scored a couple of great goals late to seal the victory.
“We had another couple of debutants and learnt some valuable lessons about what it takes to win on the international stage. Overall it was a fantastic way for us to end the tournament and I'm excited to see where this group of players will land over the coming years.
"I can't thank the players and staff enough for all their effort and support throughout this journey, often in very trying conditions.
“I wish the remaining teams all the best for the rest of the tournament and will follow the results closely to see who qualifies for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup next year in Uruguay,” Dower concluded.
Westfield Junior Matildas v Bangladesh: 1. Annalee GROVE (GK), 2. Tessa TAMPLIN, 3. Angelique HRISTODOULOU (C), 6. Taylor RAY, 7. Julia VIGNES, 8. Amy SAYER, 9. Laura HUGHES (10. Sofia SAKALIS 56’), 11. Kyra COONEY-CROSS (17. Alexia MORENO 90+1’), 14. Cecilija MATIC, 16. Karly ROESTBAKKEN (13. Alyssa ROSE 56’), 21. Sarah MORGAN
Substitutes not used: 4. Tori TUMETH, 5. Jayme MILLARD, 12. Olivia RIDDEL (GK), 15. Molly ARENS, 18. Morgan AQUINO (GK), 19. Abbey GREEN, 20. Hannah JONES, 22. Indiah-Paige RILEY, 23. Winonah HEATLEY
Head Coach: Rae DOWER