January 13, 2002
Matildas beat South Korea in opening game of Australia Cup
Australia 1 South Korea 0
4th. Australia Cup
Sunday January 13, 2002
Robertson Oval, Wagga Wagga
Crowd : 3,712
Substitute April Mann scored the solitary goal midway through the second half in a game largely dominated by the Australians. The goal was the Queenslander's second in just four internationals.
The Koreans attacked for the first ten minutes, and forward Cha Sung Mi's drive from the edge of the box had to be headed off the line by Sharon Black. The home side survived two Korean free kicks and another shot before settling down.
After their sluggish start, Australia’s physical strength and height proved too much for the bustling Koreans in a clash played at breakneck speed. Both sides quickly closed down the ball-carrier, so the match lacked real fluency and time on the ball.
Black caused all sorts of headaches for the Korean defence in the last twenty minutes of the first half, Australia's four attacks finding her in with a chance on goal. The best opportunity was provided by Lisa Casagrande's short ball inside against a flat defence, but Black's low drive from 15 metres was blocked.
Play became patchy in the 20 minutes after the break, neither side taking control. The Matildas then raised their game to produce three great chances, including the winning goal, within a ten-minute period. Joanne Peters' drive was saved, before Mann scored in the 72nd minute. Heather Garriock sent in a deep corner kick from the left which was met beautifully with a headed shot from Cheryl Salisbury. The ball was blocked right on the line and finished off by Mann from close range. Soon after, Salisbury sent through a fantastic long ball for Mann but her strike hit the post.
Australia held out for the remainder of the match to claim the victory.
It was starting defender Rhian Davies’ first cap for Australia, and Gill Thomson came off the bench to make her international debut.
Adrian Santrac was happy to notch up his first win as fulltime National Coach, saying, "We started slow but we pulled together and deserved the win. We could have scored more, but it's a good way to start the tournament."
The two teams travel to Albury tomorrow in readiness for their next clash on Wednesday evening.
Australia : Nichols, Wainwright, Salisbury, Tann, Bartlett, Davies (Thomson 67), Rockall (Garriock 63), Forman (c), Peters, Black (Golebiowski 77), Casagrande (Mann 50).
Progressive Points Ladder - Australia 3pts, South Korea 0.
Remaining Matches: 4th Australia Cup : Australia v South Korea
Wed 16 January 7.00pm Lavington Club Sports Oval, Albury
Sat 19 January 7.00pm Tom Flood Sports Centre, Bendigo