Australia's second game of the 2009 under-16 AFC championships has just wrapped up and it's another win for the Aussie team. Which means, barring any huge upsets, they have made it through to the semi-finals of the titles. To make it to next year's under-17 FIFA women's World Cup, they need to finish in the top-three so it means they are halfway there. According to the match statistics, Australian coach Robbie Hooker gave most of his first-team a rest, with Emily van Egmond, Sam Kerr, Erika Elze and Tara Andrews all on the bench, and instead gave some of the other girls in the squad time against Chinese Taipei. Caitlin Friend scored a hat-trick, Samantha Hatzirodos a brace, while Sharni Brown, Heidi Makrillos and Rebekah Stott added the others. The Australian team plays its last round game against Japan on Monday.
From the FFA match report,
Rebekah Stott opened the scoring in the 3rd minute after finding herself on the end of a corner by Caitlin Friend that was flicked on at the near post by Heidi Makrillos. Makrillos then added to Australia’s lead in the 5th minute, when she managed to collect a wayward Chinese Taipei goal kick and calmly placed the ball back over the head of Chinese Taipei goalkeeper, Lin Shih-Ting.
Australia continued to dominate the play when Sharni Brown added to the lead in the 12th minute.
Brown then turned provider with a pin point cross for Michaela Hatziridos to head home and extend Australia’s lead in the 19th minute.
Hatziridos then found her name on the score sheet again in the 33rd minute after finishing off a Teigen Allen cross who had advanced out of the back line into the attacking third.
With three minutes left in the half Caitlin Friend found herself unmarked inside the 18-yard-box to finish off Australia’s scoring for the half.
Chinese Taipei proved much more resilient in the second half and looked to have shutout the Australians.
However, with four added minutes of stoppage time in the game, Caitlin Friend managed to beat the offside trap, courtesy of a through ball from Makrillos. Friend, in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, neatly slide the ball past the advancing Lin Shih-Ting. This rounded out Australia’s scoring for the afternoon, with Chinese Taipei conceding 7 goals.
Westfield Australia U16 Women’s Head Coach Robbie Hooker was pleased with his teams performance and happy to see his players continued progression in the tournament,
“We used a very different line-up in today’s game but I’m glad the girls stepped up and put their case forward for selection in the semi-finals,” said Hooker.
“We still have Japan to play and it would be fantastic to finish top of Group B and also try to continue our run of clean sheets.
“We have to continue playing positive football and work on our technique but all-in-all I am very pleased to have made it to the semi-finals without yet conceding a goal,” finished Hooker.
Australia’s next game is against Japan, who beat China 3-1 in the other Group B match, on Monday 9th November, 4.00pm (8.00pm AEDT), at the Supachalasai National Stadium in the match that will decide who ends top of Group B.