Matildas two from two after convincing victory against brave Filipina side
The Commonwealth Bank Matildas have assured themselves a spot in the quarter-finals of the AFC Women's Asian Cup, defeating The Philippines 4-0 in Mumbai
A resilient Filipina outfit started the first half brightly, with two efforts on the counter-attack.
Full-back Steph Catley showed her intent to get amongst the goals after mostly missing out in the first match against Indonesia. The 27-year-old was the main route of attack in the first half, bombing down the left-hand side before attempting to find Australia's greatest goal-scorer, Sam Kerr, in the middle of the penalty box. Only inches proved to be the difference in the first half, as the duo struggled on a number of occasions to capitalise on their positive play.
That persistence of Catley and Kerr in the first half finally paid dividends early in the second half. A floating cross in the 51st minute by the Arsenal defender found her captain, who managed to shrug off two markers and flick the ball from her head toward the Filipina bottom corner.
The 55th international goal by Sam Kerr may not have as much historical significance as her record-breaker against Indonesia, but her opener tonight helped pave the way for a dominant performance.
It only took two minutes to double the advantage, with a looping cross in the 53rd minute from Emily van Egmond causing chaos in the Filipina backline, with Kerr's pressure forcing a mistake, with The Philippines' Randle heading into her own net.
Emily van Egmond added to her tally of three tournament goals, firing home from close range in the 67th minute, after a dangerous cross was not properly dealt with by the Filipina defence, with the 28-year-old first to react inside the penalty-box scramble.
The 71st minute saw a triple change for the Commonwealth Bank Matildas. Instead of consolidating their lead by adding defensive reinforcements, Gustavsson showed his intent to attack by introducing three progressive internationals. One of those was 23-year-old debutant Cortnee Vine, who had only been introduced into the squad a fortnight ago. The Sydney FC winger proved a handful, regularly combining with Mary Fowler on the right edge.
Winger Holly McNamara and centre-back turned wing-back Courtney Nevin joined Vine in the last 20 minutes, with the positional change of Nevin highlighting the side's intent on extending their lead. International regulars Remy Siemsen and Kyra Cooney-Cross were introduced less than ten minutes later, to hammer home the Australian advantage.
A fourth goal had been coming and in the 88th minute, young starlet Mary Fowler finished The Philippines off, with a half-volley into the bottom corner.
Australia will look to continue their undefeated streak in their final group game against Thailand, on Friday morning 1.00 am AEDT, before the knockout stages commence in less than a week's time.
Commonwealth Bank Matildas v Thailand
Date: Thursday, 27 January 2022 / Friday, 28 January 2022
Venue: Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai
Kick-off: 7.30pm (local), 01:00am (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live and Exclusive on Network 10 and 10 Play
For more information on the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, please visit here.