The Westfield Young Matildas have finished the AFC U-19 Championships on a high after recording an impressive 2-0 win over Uzbekistan on Saturday night.
Goals in either half to Ayesha Norrie and Chloe O’Brien proved the difference as Australia secured third place in their group behind Japan and China.
Ante Juric’s side suffered narrow loses in their opening two group matches and will now miss qualification for next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
“It was a steady performance from my team after losing the first two games, they were a little bit down but it was a composed showing today,” Juric told www.theafc.com
“Uzbekistan bunkered down and defended well and we need to learn how to break teams down who play like that, especially in Asia, it’s a lesson for us to learn.
“We were happy what with we saw in our girls at this tournament and we’re looking to develop a pool of strong players going forward.”
The Young Matildas started brightly and were unfortunate not to take an early lead with Tara Pender’s shot denied by the crossbar with the Uzbekistan goalkeeper beaten.
The Young Aussies continued to press and were rewarded 10 minutes before the interval with Ayesha Norrie finding the top corner with a thumping strike from the edge of the area.
Australia continued to dominate proceedings in the second stanza but found it difficult to create clear-cut chances against a well-organised Uzbekistan defence.
But the Young Matildas’ dominance was rewarded in stoppage time with Chloe O’Brien prodding home from close range to seal a deserved victory.