Author Topic: Australia edges Canada 2-1 in women's soccer friendly Friday  (Read 1176 times)

Offline David

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SYDNEY, Australia — Australia scored twice in the first half to edge Canada 2-1 in a women's soccer friendly Friday.

Forward Caitlin Munoz's goal in the 40th minute proved to be the winner.

Striker Kara Lang scored Canada's lone goal in the 56th minute and Canada hit the crossbar twice in the second half but could not score the equalizer.

Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod was tested early, making saves the ninth and 20th minute. But Amy Chapman put the Matildas on the board in the 22nd minute.

McLeod stopped Munoz's shot but Chapman was there to put the rebound in. Munoz then made it 2-0 before halftime.

In the second half, the Canadian offence finally came alive as Lang scored the 30th goal of her senior career. Captain Christine Sinclair made the initial threat but was stopped by Australia's Clare Polkinghorne on the line before Lang followed through with the goal.

"We played ever so well in the first half and then Canada's kind of power game kicked in a bit in the second half and knocked us out of our rhythm a little bit," Australia coach Tom Sermanni said.

In the 73rd minute, Canada nearly evened the score when Melissa Tancredi's shot hit the crossbar. Five minutes later, Sinclair connected with the crossbar off a shot from just inside the penalty area.

Canada, which slipped to 5-4-4 in 2008, is tuning up for the Beijing Olympics after earning a berth earlier this year. The women were the first Canadian soccer team to qualify for the Olympics in 24 years.

Australia and Canada played a memorable match at last year's World Cup when the Matildas scored in injury time to edge Canada for a berth in the quarter-finals.

Next up for the Canadian women is the Peace Cup in South Korea in June. They open the tournament June 14 against Argentina, the same team they will face in their first Olympic match on Aug. 6.

Canada is in a group with Argentina, China and Sweden at Olympics.

Australia, which failed to qualify for Beijing, is preparing for the Women's Asian Cup starting next week in Vietnam.

After failing to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, Sermanni said his side was determined to prove a point in Vietnam.

"This is our major tournament of the year so we want to do well, mainly to I suppose show ourselves and other people that we felt we deserved to be at the Olympics," Sermanni said.

Australia reached the final of the last Women's Asian Cup, losing to China on a penalty shootout.

The match was a prelude to the men's international later Friday between Australia and Ghana at Sydney Football Stadium.

Offline David

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Re: Australia edges Canada 2-1 in women's soccer friendly Friday
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2008, 10:29:34 PM »
Matildas Dominate Against Canada

THE MATILDAS scored a 2-1 win over Canada at Sydney Football Stadium in the team's final outing before the AFC Women's Asian Cup in Vietnam.

First half goals by Amy Chapman and Caitlin Munoz had Australia 2-0 ahead at the break, but the Canadians pulled a goal back through Kara Lang and then hit the crossbar twice in the second half.

Australia started the match well and captain Cheryl Salisbury had the first chance when her shot was tipped around the post by Erin McLeod.

They continued to put pressure on the Canadian penalty area and it finally told in the 22nd minute, when Amy Chapman scored after she pounced on a rebound of Catlin Munoz’ excellent shot on the turn.

Two minutes if probably should have been 2-0 when a quick counter, saw the ball come out to Ellyse Perry, who was called into the starting line-up late after Jo Burgess was forced to withdraw late. Perry’s first time cross found Munoz, who headed wide from close range, but luckily for her, she was ruled offside in any case.

Walsh then went close, before the Canadians had their first decent chance on the half hour mark, when they almost scored from a defensive mix-up. Polkinghorne however saved the day to clear the danger.

The lead was doubled five minutes before the break, when Collette McCallum took a free kick that released Perry down the right and her first time cross, was glanced home by a superb header by Munoz.

Australia started the second half where they left the first and were pressuring the Canadian goal, with McCallum, Perry and Colthorpe all having shots at goal.

But against the run of play, Canada equalized as they countered quickly, with captain Christine Sinclair sent clear. She rounded Williams, but her shot was blocked by Polkinghorne, which rebounded out to Lang, whose shot went in off a prone Salisbury on the goal line.

Two minutes later Australia suffered another blow when Walsh had to be carried off on a stretcher with a leg injury, later revealed as bruising to the shin.

The goal seemed to lift the Canadians, who came at the Australian defence and twice almost had an equaliser with Tancredi and then Sinclair crashing shots against the crossbar.

Kyah Simon saw a header tipped around the post late in the game and Australia were able to hang on for a hard earned and determined win typified by a length of the field run from stoic defender Kate McShea despite tired legs.

It was the first meeting between the two teams since the Matildas qualified for the quarter finals of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup courtesy of a famous last minute Cheryl Salisbury equaliser in the final group match in Chengdu.

Coach Tom Sermanni was pleased with the team's performance with five teenagers taking the field against a full strength Canadian side.

"I was generally happy with the performance of the team especially in the first half when we played some very good football," said coach Tom Sermanni.

"Canada are a very difficult team to play against but there were good contributions throughout the team including from some of the less experienced players which was also pleasing."

Australia will open their AFC Women’s Asian Cup campaign against Chinese Taipei on Thursday 29 May, followed by the match against Korea Republic on Saturday 31 May before the final group match against Japan on Monday 2 June. The final will be played on June 8 with all matches in Ho Chi Minh City.

Australia 2 (Amy Chapman 21', Caitlin Munoz 40')
Canada 1 (Erin McLeod 54')

Australia: Melissa Barbieri (gk) (Lydia Williams h/t); Clare Polkinghorne, Kate McShea, Cheryl Salisbury, Di Alagich, Ellyse Perry, Lauren Colthorpe, Amy Chapman (Tameka Butt 75'), Collette McCallum, Caitlin Munoz (Jenna Tristram 65'), Sarah Walsh (Kyah Simon 60')

Unused substitutes: Karla Reuter, Amber Neilson, Ella Mastrantino, Tameka Butt, Kyah Simon, Lydia Williams (gk)

Cautions: Alagich 85',matildas-dominate-against-canada.aspx

Offline David

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Re: Australia edges Canada 2-1 in women's soccer friendly Friday
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2008, 10:31:22 PM »
Women on the road
The Canadian's women's team lost in Australia Friday, 2-1 despite a goal from Province columnist and Canada star Kara Lang.
On one hand it shows how fast the rest of the world has caught up in women's soccer.
On another it shows how desperately the team needs to be supported at home. Instead of travelling to Portugal or Cyprus or China or in this case Australia for a tournament, they should have an opportunity to play at home in front on a supportive crowd.
Teck Cominco has just stepped up huge with  a financial commitment on the heels of Winner's sponsoring the team. It's time for the CSA to get it together and give the girls some home exposure and support.