AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2010, Viet Nam – Australia: 0-2
Leena Khamis and Kylie Ledbrook scored in each half as an inexperienced Australia brushed aside a resilient Vietnam side 2-0 at Chengdu Sports Center on…
Leena Khamis and Kylie Ledbrook scored in each half as an inexperienced Australia brushed aside a resilient Vietnam side 2-0 at Chengdu Sports Center on Wednesday to make the ideal start to their AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2010 Group B campaign.
The Matildas, without the majority of their first-team regulars including US-based striker Lisa De Vanna and Europe-based duo Heather Garriock and Kate Gill, dominated throughout and broke the deadlock midway through the first-half as Sydney FC striker Khamis headed home her third international goal in 10 appearances.
And Tom Sermanni’s Australia, who finished fourth in 2008, sealed the points as Ledbrook converted from the penalty spot at the start of the second period on a chilly and overcast first day in Chengdu.
Australia took the game to defence-minded Vietnam from the first whistle and midfielder Sally Shipard, playing in her first major tournament for the Matildas since 2007, sent a dipping shot from just outside the area straight at goalkeeper Dang Thi Kieu Trinh after just three minutes.
Australia, though, were almost caught out a minute later as a long ball over the top caught the defence static and Nguyen Thi Muon found space in behind but her attempted lob over goalkeeper Lydia Williams also cleared the crossbar while under pressure.
Doan Thi Kim Chi drifted a free-kick from 25 yards harmlessly over the Australian crossbar after 11 minutes with the Matildas and their three-pronged attack still dominating but Vietnam looking dangerous on the break.
Australia carved open the Vietnam defence after 23 minutes and should have opened the scoring but Kyah Simon could only fire into the side netting despite being picked out unmarked at the back post by strike partner Tameka Butt.
Simon fired just wide a minute later but the third member of the Matildas strike-force finally opened the scoring after 28 minutes when Khamis met Butt’s cross with a glancing header to guide the ball past a stranded Kieu Trinh in the Vietnam goal.
And Australia doubled their advantage six minutes into the second-half as Butt was bundled over just inside the area and Ledbrook calmly stepped up to guide the resulting penalty past Kieu Trinh’s dive.
Vietnam almost found a response just after the hour mark but after receiving a fortunate deflection on the edge of the Australia area, Thi Muon could only guide her placed shot wide of the upright.
Australia continued to press for a third as the half progressed but failed to find a killer final ball, while Vietnam produced a frantic finish in search of a consolation but also went unrewarded.
Khamis came close to sealing the win with a second in stoppage time, but headed wide while under pressure at the back post.