Sunday, 16 September 2007

A game of two halves

After a sluggish start, the Matildas pulled off a well earned draw against world no.4 Norway in their second match of the Women's World Cup. Hero again for the Matildas, was Lisa Da Vanna who scored a cracker of a goal from the edge of the area after shaking off three Norwegian defenders. Craig Foster or Andrew Orsati, I can't remember which one, made the statement that the goal was on a par in term of quality and importance with goals scored by Tim Cahill against Japan. I couldn't agree more, the quality of finish was incredible and the Norwegian keeper had no chance and the timing was perfect. When it was scored I was out of my lounge room chair and running around like an idiot much like I did when Cahill scored those goals. The goal came after a period of sustained pressure by the Matildas, who after being on the back foot for most of the first half came out firing in the second half.

In the first half, the Matildas sat too far back in defence allowing Norwegians to constantly run at them and to create a lot of chances. This was evident when they scored the opening goal where a excellent through ball split open the Australian defence and left Barbieri with no chance as Ragnhild Gulbrandsen took her chance with her great control and first time shot. Our midfield had little or no impact on the game during the first half and there was no series of passes to speak of whatsoever although our defence stood firm after the early goal.. The introduction of De Vanna, Walsh and Munoz in the second half allowed the Matildas to now run at the Norwegian defence and they were on their heels for most of the second half. Players of the match for me for the Matildas were De Vanna, Garriock, McCallum, Slatyer and Salisbury.

The result now leaves the Matildas with an incredible chance of making it through to the quarter finals as they now only require a point from their final match against Canada. To progress to the next stage the Australians can't afford to have a similar first half against Canada as they did against Norway as the highly fancied Canadians will surely make us pay. After two great performances, the Matildas need to continue their great form and attitude otherwise it will be all for nothing. Go Matildas!

Image "borrowed" from


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