Matilda’s Triumph with Fowler's Stunning Goal in Olympic Qualifier
Mary Fowler's sensational goal helps Matildas secure victory in Olympic Games qualifier against Chinese Taipei, sealing perfect group record
- Matildas secure crucial Olympic Games qualifier win.
- Mary Fowler's breathtaking long-distance strike stuns Chinese Taipei.
- Sam Kerr doubles Australia's lead.
- Matildas advance to the final round of Olympic Games qualifiers.
The Matildas secured a crucial victory in their Olympic Games qualifier against Chinese Taipei, overcoming a frustrating first half to win 3-0 in Perth. The win maintained their perfect record in the Asian Football Confederation Group A second-round qualifiers.
In a vital Olympic Games qualifier held in Perth, the Matildas faced a frustrating first half but ultimately emerged victorious against a resilient Chinese Taipei team. The Matildas displayed their clinical side after the break, securing a 3-0 win and a perfect record of nine points from three games in the Asian Football Confederation Group A second-round qualifying matches. Star players Mary Fowler and Sam Kerr, along with substitute Tameka Yallop, all found the net in the final 30 minutes of the contest. The enthusiastic crowd of over 19,000 at HBF Park witnessed a thrilling second-half performance from the Matildas.
The victory delighted the fans and boosted the Matildas' confidence as they progress in the Olympic Games qualifiers. Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson praised the team's maturity and patience in breaking down the opponent's defense. "It takes sometimes an hour to break down a team," Gustavsson mentioned, highlighting the importance of patience in such matches. With their dominating performance, the Matildas have earned their place in the final round of AFC Olympic Games qualifiers scheduled for February.
The final round of qualifiers will feature four nations, with two winners from parallel home and away matches securing spots in the upcoming Paris Games. Alongside Australia, Japan and North Korea have also booked their places in the final round of qualifiers. The fourth spot will go to the best runner-up among the three second-round qualifying groups. The Matildas' remarkable performance in Perth has positioned them well for the next stage of the qualifiers and increased their chances of securing an Olympic berth.
In preparation for the match against Chinese Taipei, the Matildas made one change to their lineup. Clare Wheeler replaced right-back Ellie Carpenter, who had to leave the camp early to return to her French club, Lyon. The Australians quickly took control of the game, but the first half was marked by their inability to convert numerous scoring opportunities. Alanna Kennedy missed an excellent chance with a header from a Steph Catley corner in the 12th minute. Despite being unmarked, Kennedy couldn't find the target with her header. Just two minutes later, another corner from Catley created a chance for Mary Fowler, who unleashed a powerful first-time shot that hit the post.
Throughout the first half, the Matildas continued to squander opportunities. In the 20th minute, Fowler had another chance but failed to control her shot, which sailed high and wide. In the 26th minute, midfielder Katrina Gorry missed a chance when her shot was comfortably handled by Chinese Taipei goalkeeper Cheng Ssu-yu. After the half-time break, the Matildas still struggled to find their rhythm and wasted more chances. In the 48th minute, skipper Sam Kerr received a superb through ball from her teammate Kyra Cooney-Cross but was unable to capitalize due to a heavy touch.
However, the turning point came in the 62nd minute when Mary Fowler scored an incredible long-distance goal, finally breaking the deadlock. Sam Kerr added another goal in the 68th minute, extending Australia's lead. Tameka Yallop sealed the victory eight minutes later, ensuring that the Matildas secured the much-needed three points.
The Matildas' spectacular win is not only a significant step in the Olympic Games qualifiers but also a testament to their maturity and determination. They had to work diligently to break down their opponent's defense, demonstrating patience and perseverance. The victory has solidified their position in the final round of qualifiers, and the Matildas will continue their journey in pursuit of an Olympic berth. With their impressive performance in Perth, they have taken a crucial step closer to representing Australia at the Olympic Games.
Despite struggling to score in the first half, the Matildas displayed their clinical side after the break. Mary Fowler, Sam Kerr, and Tameka Yallop scored in the final 30 minutes, securing a vital three points and advancing to the final round of AFC Olympic Games qualifiers in February.