Author Topic: Matildas do it for Di  (Read 1174 times)

Offline David

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Matildas do it for Di
« on: July 12, 2008, 11:41:27 PM »
The Matildas defeated New Zealand 1-0 at North Sydney Oval in a trial match Saturday that also farewelled Di Alagich who played her 86th and final match for her country.

The match was historic on other levels with Matildas captain Cheryl Salisbury making her 150th "A" International and Leena Khamis scoring her first international goal for the Matildas.

Khamis' goal in the 35th minute was a welcome reward for the substitute striker who had a goal disallowed four minutes previous for offside.

In a similar fashion to the disallowed goal, Khamis was well positioned at the far post to head in a Heather Garriock free kick which was floated into the box from half-way.

New Zealand had the better of the play in the second half as they pressured Australia's defence, which managed to hold on.

Chances in the second half were at a premium, with New Zealand captain Hayley Moorwood coming the closest with a fierce shot that went into the side-netting.

Alagich was substituted late in the match to a standing ovation from the crowd and hugs from her teammates as she signalled the end of her 13-year career with the national team.

After the match Alagich reflected on her time with the Matildas.

"It was a great way to finish. I said to the girls before the match that I didn't want to lose this one and they came through for me," she said.

"I thought I was going to be more emotional today, but I really enjoyed the match and everything finished on a good note.

"It was my time to finish. I wanted to go out at the top of my game and I was able to do that today."

Matildas coach Tom Sermanni was glowing in his praise of Alagich's contribution to women's football in Australia.

"Today was a vintage Di Alagich performance," he said.

"She almost scored from a corner and made some terrific last-grasp tackles to win things.

"I thought she played very well and to cap it off with a win was a most appropriate way to go out."