AFC Women's Asian Cup 2010: Group B

Matildas open with a win
By Chris Dunkerley

5:00pm Wednesday, 19 May 2010
at Chengdu Sports Centre, Chengdu, China

Australia 2
(Leena Khamis 28', Kylie Ledbrook 52'pen)
Vietnam 0

(Referee had no hesitation on pointing to the spot - Photo Paul Lau

The Westfield Matildas won their first game of Group B in the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2010 against Vietnam 2-0 this afternoon at the Chengdu Sports Centre in China. Leena Khamis headed them in front before a penalty taken by Kylie Ledbrook sealed the game.

Australia's coach Tom Sermanni started the game with many of the senior squad players who had done so well in the last World Cup out of the starting 11, instead blooding younger and rising W-League players. A few old heads, including captain for the day Thea Slatyer, and Karla Reuter; and gave responsibility to Leena Khamis to lead the line, with Kylie Ledbrook in midfield.

Vietnam started with 5 across the back-line and committed to play on the break, but the speed of the young Australian players at the back allowed for adventure up front. Sally Shipard, starting her first Matildas game for some years, got forward in the 4th minute and attempted to lob Trinh in the Vietnamese goal, alas sailing over.

Dao Thi Mien got forward down the right for Vietnam in the 6th minute, receiving a long ball from the left, but shot over the bar with hardly any concern for Lydia Williams.

In the 24th minute Lauren Colthorpe played in Kiah Simon whose snap shot went just wide. One minute later Simon hit a 30m speculator wide from the left.

Colthorpe again played an early ball into the final third and Leena Khamis ghosted to the edge of the area to head past the 'keeper. 1-0 One minute later Khamis had another chance, this time off Reuter and this time missing.

After the break Vietnam pushed higher up the park, but Simon played Colthorpe in down the left however the midfielder blasted high & wide.

In the 52nd minute Tameka Butt was bundled over in the box by Hong and Kylie Ledbrook stepped up to take the resultant penalty - placing it well and sealing the game for Australia. 2-0

Australia paid for somewhat rushed and thus wasteful finishing by not advancing their goal difference, which may yet be crucial. There was little direct danger however as the best chance for Vietnam in the half was when Nguyen Thi Muon surged foward and picked up a loose ball in the 64th minute but curled the shot well past the top left corner of Lydia Willaim's goal.

Vietnam never really looked like putting sustained pressure on the Matildas and were very quickly closed down and harried, however the young Australian side, despite winning, did turn over possession and lack variation in attack.

"Vietnam played very well and it was a tough first game. They were disciplined in defence and had some good passages of play," said Tom Sermanni, the Australian coach. "We are pleased to get the win which was our aim as we knew it would be difficult. I am satisfied with the win, but I think we could have played better. "We have come to expect tough games against the likes of Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar, so to come through unscathed with a win is a positive. "But we did have quite a few nerves and we didn't quite reach the high expectations we could have." Sermanni added: "When we play tournaments we always look at reaching the semi-finals and the final which means playing five games in a short space of time so we need to use a squad and not just a starting 11".

Despite being on the back foot for the majority of the contest, Vietnam did pose a danger on the counter and did manage to carve out several half-chances mainly through midfielder Nguyen Thi Muon to the delight of coach Vue Ba Dong. "I believe you can see our team is young with a lot to learn and we have reached our expectations for the match," he said. "Overall I am very satisfied. We played how we prepared and we had opportunities in the first-half and in the second-half I believe we had a possible penalty which the referee did not give."

South Korea & China drew 0-0 in the other game, which suits Australia. The next Asian Cup game for the Matildas is on Friday 21 May against South Korea at 5pm AET (shown on ABC TV). Sermanni is expected to put out his strongest 11.

5:00pm, Wednesday, 19 May 2010
at Chengdu Sports Centre, Chengdu, China

Australia 2
(Leena Khamis 28', Kylie Ledbrook 52'pen)
Vietnam 0

    Crowd: 1,000


    Player listing:
    18. Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 3. Karla REUTER, 5. Lauren COLTHORPE (31. Teigen ALLEN +64'), 6. Servet UZUNLAR (22. Sam KERR +53'), 10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 13. Thea SLATYER (c), 15. Sally SHIPARD, 17. Kyah SIMON, 19. Leena KHAMIS, 24. Tameka BUTT, 27. Aivi LUIK

    Substitutes not used: 1. Melissa BARBIERI (rgk), 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE, 7. Heather GARRIOCK, 9. Sarah WALSH, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 12. Kate GILL, 16. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 25. Casey DUMONT (rgk)

    Coach: Tom Sermanni (Australia)

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Player listing:
    1. Dang Thi Kieu Trinh (gk), 4. Nguyen Thi Hanh, 7. Nguyen Thi Nga, 8. Dao Thi Mien, 13. Nguyen Thi Muon (19. Le Thi Oanh +76'), 14. Doan Thi Kim Chi, 15. Thi Ngoc Anh, 16. Le Thi Thuong, 18. Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet, 23. Tran Thi Kim Hong, 29. Bui Thuy An

    Substitutes not used: 3. Nhieu Tuy Linh, 5. Nhu, 10. Nguyen Thi Thanh, 12. Phu, 17. Nguyen Hai Hoa, 20. Nguyen Thi Nguyet, 28. Do Thi Thu Trang, 27. Duong Thi Danh (gk), 28. Nguyen Thi Mai Ngoc

    Coach: Vue Ba Dong

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Ri Hyang OK 8/10 (North Korea (DPR))
    Assistant referees: Hong Kum NYO (North Korea), Liu Hsiu MEI (Taiwan); Fourth official: Sachiko Yamagishi (Japan); Match Commissioner: Lau Cheuk Chi (HONG KONG); Referee Inspector: Chan Yam Ming Samuel (HONG KONG)

    Best players: Australia - Colthorpe, Ledbrook, Reuter, Khamis

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Game rating: 6/10

    Match Report by Chris Dunkerley

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

(ACT connection - Thea Slatyer leads Lydia Williams out for the game)

(The Australian starting 11)

(Kylie Ledbrook 10, faced by Nguyen and Thi)

(Aivi Luik and Leena Khamis celebrate Leenas' goal)

(Butt and Le challenge for ball)

(Sally Shipard stretches for the ball)

(Lauren Colthorpe - ".. and this is how you do the Praying Mantis!")

(Tameka Butt hauled down in box)

(A rare Viet attack, covered by Kyah Simon)

(Leena Khamis)

(Nguyen Thi Nga (7) attempts to evade Tameka Butt)

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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