It was a dramatic night for the Westfield Matildas as they finished top of their Olympic Qualifying Group and none shone brighter than Player of the Match Lydia Williams.
The Melbourne City goalkeeper was immense between the sticks for Ante Milicic’s side in a contest that the Westfield Matildas dominate possession while China PR attacked in transition.
All told she made six saves to keep China PR at bay for until the 86th minute and her athleticism was evident for all at Western Sydney Stadium be it getting down low to deny Tang Jiali down low on 77 minutes.
Williams was also one of just three players to notch over 100 touches of the ball across the 90 minutes – proving her fundamental role in anchoring the team’s formation in possession with 87 passes.
Of course, in injury time it was Emily van Egmond that stole the show as she netted a dramatic injury-time equaliser.
Coming off her maiden international hat-trick in the prior game against Thailand, van Egmond led the Westfield Matildas returns with two shots on target on the night, in addition to creating two chances for her teammates amongst her 49 passes and five crosses.
Defensively, there were also some big performances on show with centre half Alanna Kennedy proving formidable by winning four of six duels and delivering three clearances in addition to delivering a match best 113 passes.
Her partner at the back, Clare Polkinghorne, was also heavily involved with 107 passes of her own, while fullback Ellie Carpenter attempted three tackles and attempted 12 duels in her typically end-to-end role.
Match Schedule – Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Play-Off
Australia v Vietnam
Date: Friday, 6 March 2020
Kick-off: 8.00pm AEDT
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports, ABC TV (iview & eastern states, delayed in other states & territories), and the My Football Live App
Upcoming Friendly Matches – Westfield Matildas
United States of America v Australia
Date: Friday, 10 April 2020 (local time)
Kick-off: To be confirmed
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah, USA
Canada v Australia
Date: Tuesday, 14 April 2020 (local time)
Kick-off: 7.30pm – 12.30pm Wednesday, 15 April 2020
Venue: BC Place, Vancouver, Canada