AFC Women's Asian Cup 2010: Final

Matildas Asian Cup Winners, in mud on penalties
From FFA / AFC official releases

9:30pm Sunday, 30 May 2010
at Chengdu Sports Centre, Chengdu, China

Australia 1
(Sam Kerr 19')
DPR Korea 1
(Jo Yun Mi 73')
(Australian won AET, 5-4 on penalties)

The Westfield Matildas have won the final of AFC Women's Asian Cup 2010 on Sunday night over North Korea 5-4 on penalties, after it going ahead it was 1-1 at the end of normal time, and then no change after extra time, and Kyah Simon slotted home the winning penalty to scenes of delirium in the mud of Chengdu. Congratulations ladies, Australia is proud of you!

On their second attempt for Asia’s biggest football prize the Westfield 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.

The Matildas took the lead in the 19th minute through Sam Kerr but defending champions DPR Korea equalised in the 73rd minute through Jo Yun Mi and there was as stalemate to send the game to extra time. And after 120 minutes (including 30 minuted of extra time) could not separate the two sides. Yun Song Mi's missed spot kick proved crucial with Australia 100% from the spot in the shootout.

Following a tense opening 19 minutes of end-to-end football, Westfield 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 Westfield 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 the Westfield Matildas.

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 Westfield 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.

Australia's coach Tom Sermanni, revealing freshly darkened hair for the first time in the tournament due to some wager with his players, 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 Westfield Matildas core.

DPR hit the post late on but the scores remained level.

The biggest scare for the Westfield 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 Westfield 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 Westfield 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 am incredibly proud of my players,” he said. “They have continued to surprise me with their ability, commitment and effort. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of girls and what they have achieved in such a short time", he added.

Sermanni feels it is too early to put Australia alongside the pair as the strongest sides in Asia. “It is a bit premature for that.” he said. “I think because we have been fortunate to have been in Asia the last four years that we have been able too get to this point. There are five teams with very little that separate them, and I think at this stage that DPR Korea and Japan are the top two teams in Asia.”

"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 solid defender Servet Uzunlar. "To not only qualify but to become the number one team in Asia is an absolutely fantastic achievement."

“I appreciate the effort from my players as they fought hard throughout,” said DPR Korea coach Kim Kwang Min. “After the semi-final went to extra time it was difficult for my players in this match because they had played longer. The physical condition of my players in this match after it went to extra time was not as good as it was before".

Despite the defeat, Kim remains optimistic DPR Korea will bounce back strong in future tournaments. “We believe we have a bright future,” he added. “Our players have taken a great opportunity to get experience and we can develop more from the experience we have gained at the Asian Cup.”

The Women's World Cup will take place between 26 June and 17 July, 2011 in Germany - with the best 3 from this Asian Cup qualifying and representing the Asian Football Confederation - ie. Australia, DPR Korea, Japan!

9:30pm Sunday, 30 May 2010
at Chengdu Sports Centre, Chengdu, China

Australia 1
(Sam Kerr 19')
DPR Korea 1
(Jo Yun Mi 73')
(Australian won AET, 5-4 on penalties)

    Crowd: 1,200


    Player listing:
    1. Melissa Barbieri (gk), 4. Clare Polkinghorne, 5. Lauren Colthorpe, 6. Servet Uzunlar, 7. Heather Garriock, 12. Kathryn Gill, 14. Collette MCCallum (27. Aivi Luik +97'), 15. Sally Shipard, 16. Elise Kellond-Knight (10. Kylie Ledbrook +101'), 22. Samantha Kerr (17. Kyah Simon +75'), 23. Kim Carroll

    Substitutes not used: 3. Karla Reuter, 18. Lydia Williams (rgk), 19. Leena Khamis, 24. Tamek Butt, 25. Casey Dumont (rgk), 31. Teigan Allen
    Not available (injured): 9. Sarah Walsh, 11. Lisa De Vanna

    Coach: Tom Sermanni (Australia)

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    DPR KOREA ('North Korea') :
    Player listing:
    1. Hong Myong Hui (gk), 4. Yun Song Mi, 5. Choe Yong Sim, 6. Ra Un Sim, 8. Jo Yun Mi, 9. Ri Ye Gyong, 10. Kim Yong Ae (14. Yun Hyon Hi +53'), 11. Kim Kyong Hwa (15. Mun Chol Mi +70'), 13. Kim Chung Sim (20. Ri Hyon Suk +103'), 16. Yu Jong Hui, 21. Song Jong Sun

    Substitutes not used: 3. Kwon Jong Sun, 7. Choe UnJu, 12. Kim Un Ju, 17. Jon Myong Hwa, 18. Jon Yun Mi (rgk), 22. Ri Jin Sim (rgk)

    Coach: Kim Kwang Min (DPR Korea)

    Yellow Cards: Choe Yong Sim 45'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Australia's penalties: All 5 scored - Shipard, Ledbrook, Gill, Garriock, Simon
    DPR Korea's penalties: 4 scored - Jo Yun Mi, Yun Song Mi (miss), Choe Yong Sim, Yu Jong Hui, Mun Chol Mi

    Referee: Sachiko Yamagishi 6/10
    Assistants: Ayuki Shiho (Japan), Takahashi Saori (Japan); Fourth Official: Semakuk Praew (Thailand); Match Commissioner: Lau Cheuk Chi (Hong Kong)

    Best players:

    Pitch rating: 5/10 (it held a lot of water, and many games)

    Game rating: 8/10 (Gripping stuff, allowing for the mud)

    Report compiled by Chris Dunkerley for BOTN

Photo gallery:(All photos by Paul Lau for BOTN)

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that.

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