Our Matildas came through!
Matildas defied a rain-soaked and humid Chengdu and a rapidly deteriorating pitch to become the first Australian team to win the Asian Cup.
Australia's women stars have braved one of their toughest ever encounters to beat DPR Korea on penalties and win the 2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
On their second attempt for Asia’s biggest football prize the Matildas defied a rain-soaked and humid Chengdu night and a rapidly deteriorating pitch to become the first Australian team to win the Asian Cup.
Following a tense opening 19 minutes of end-to-end football, Matildas’ youngster Sam Kerr opened the scoring when Clare Polkinghorne played in a diagonal ball and, beating the offside trap, Kerr guided the ball past the DPR Korea goalkeeper Hong Myong Hui.
The goal allowed Australia to increase their possession and with boosted confidence began to play the ball more and wrestle back control of the game from a DPR team that started the stronger.
DPR Korea looked dangerous on the break and with extra numbers out wide managed to overlap Australia on the right and put in some dangerous crosses but the Koreans failed to put the finishing touch on them.
With the game ebbing and flowing between the two teams attacking raids the Matildas’ Servet Uzunlar and Kim Carroll ensured the Australian’s would go to the break with the advantage with the pair a constant presence for Australia. Late in the half and a delightful ball from Collette McCallum allowed Kate Gill to turn with her first touch and found space to shoot with the ball just flying over the DPR goal.
The second half began much the same as the first ended with both teams fighting for every ball and every inch on the sparse and gravelly surface.
In the 59th minute Garriock did some dancing on the ball before cuting it back to Elise Kellond-Knight whose driven cross found the head of Polkinghorne but her powerful header was just off target. Minutes later and Sam Kerr was free down the right but her ball into the box rose too high for Gill to get the header and create the two goal buffer Australia so desperately wanted.
Despite some excellent short passing from the DPR side, their final ball was consistently lacking.
Australia looked to be in a perilous position in the 70th minute when Yun Hyon Hi got clear of the Australian defense only for the impeccable Matildas goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri to stand tall and make a fantastic save low to her left to keep the score at 1-nil.
Moments later and DPR Korea came at the Australian’s again with Ra Un Sim beating Kellond-Knight into the box with her shot crashing into the side netting. However DPR Korea could not be stopped, and with their momentum building a curling ball in from the right found the head of Jo Jun Mi who placed her header into the far corner of Barbieri’s goal to level the scores.
Australia replied almost immediately with McCallum’s perfect through ball finding Polkinghorne who, with the keeper to beat, could not find the target.
Head Coach Tom Sermanni, revealing freshly darkened hair for the first time in the tournament, replaced the impressive Sam Kerr with Kyah Simon hoping that the fresh striker could bring some life to the Australian attack.
With eight minutes to go in normal time the rain started to plummet down making the already smog filled pitch look like a bad day in Barnsley.
With four minutes of time added on, Australia received another scare with the ball coming in from the left and Un Sim’s header going just wide of the target. By the beginning of extra time the Chengdu Sports Center pitch was a boggy mire making the ground almost impossible to play football on.
Aivi Luik and Kylie Ledbrook came on during extra time for Collette McCallum and Elise Kellond-Knight who had both run themselves into the ground, producing strong performances to bolster the Matildas core.
DPR hit the post late on but the scores remained level. The biggest scare for the Matildas came late in the second half of injury time when the ball held up too much for Barbieri in the muddy conditions and her clearance cannoned off Hyon Hi and just wide of the Australian goal.
With the match level at the end of full-time the game headed for penalties. DPR Korea took first honours in the penalty shootout and struck with purpose. Australia followed up with Shipard hitting the target leveling the scores again.
DPR Korea handed the Matildas their biggest chance when Yun Song Mi missed to the right leaving the match open which the Aussies grabbed with both hands, sinking the remainder of their attempts with Gill, Garriock and Ledbrook finishing with complete composure.
Kyah Simon was left with the honours of securing a historic victory and stepped up to slot the ball into the top right sending the Matildas team into wild celebrations.
“I think this would be the best highlight of my career so far,” said Tom Sermanni.
“With this group of girls and the lead-up we had this is just a fantastic result. “I couldn’t be prouder of this group of girls and what they have achieved in such a short time.”
"I think it was an amazing effort by all of us and I thought we dug really deep and showed the true Aussie spirit to win the match," said Servet Uzunlar.
"To not only qualify but to become the number one team in Asia is an absolutely fantastic achievement."
- Register Now
- Mykonos: Something to 'Crowe' about
- Greek community pays tribute to Hazel Hawke
- Melbourne Heart signs Massimo Murdocca
- Gastronomy Days at Benaki Museum
- Greek men affected by crisis
- Greece honours Australian WWII veterans
- Christopoulos to open new Melb Cafe
- Philippoussis vs furry animals
- New rules for reverse mortgages
- Tax overhaul draft sees no declarations for single incomes
- 8 May 2013 | 13 Votes
- 8 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 3 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 15 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 13 May 2013 | 8 Votes
- 22 May 2013 | 8 Votes
More from this Section
- Bomber coaching staff under the microscope
- FFA firm on match fixing
- Μισό εισιτήριο για Ολυμπιακό
- Η Λίβερπουλ καταθέτει πρόταση για Μιραλάς
- Steve Tasios
- South Melbourne remembers 1991
- Is he the Cannon's secret weapon?
- Bouzanis to recieve offer from Olympiakos
- Jesse Makarounas commits to Perth glory
- Burns fired up for Greek Cup
Following a successful run in Melbourne, the play To Kelepouri will travel to Sydney and Hobart
The actor who immortalised Zorba the Greek - Anthony Quinn - has put his Greek and Roman antiques up for sale
Memorial services and public tributes in Darwin, Hanoi and Dili marked the death of Melbourne-born journalist John Loizou
The fate of a contentious anti-racism bill will have to be determined by the leaders in the fragile coalition
The Spanish coach also brings with him assistant Pau Marti to join Michael Valkanis
Cafe owners embrace goodwill scheme for the less fortunate
Learning a second and third language was at the top of the agenda in Education Week in Victoria
Celebrating Greece in the World Barista Championship, here's a coffee recipe everyone should try at home
Greek Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) found that 25.6 percent of businesses and individuals whose books were checked for tax infringements were found to be in violation
The teams that started as underdogs beat the favourites at home on Wednesday, setting up an appetizing mini-league.
Community involvement will save dwindling programs like Ancient Greek says Professor K.O Chong-Gossard.
Coach Graham Arnold still has high hopes for a win next week
Vevi and Corinth targeted in attempt to locate troops buried anonymously
Greek basketball great Nick Galis honoured by his club Aris
Thanasi Tiliakos' scholarship to Scots College is a dream come true
Mum's the word for a special comedy event for the Pansamian House
The new series of MasterChef Australia is already in hot water before it's even started
Inexperience is the new Socceroos' biggest enemy