Australia’s Under-23 team maintained its push for a place in the final four of the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Singapore, Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
Coach Melissa Andreatta’s team raced to a two-goal cushion at halftime thanks to skipper Winonah Heatley’s 11th-minute header and Sarah Hunter’s 17th-minute strike.
The Matildas then got their third goal of the game moments after the halftime break. Hana Lowry scored in the 47th minute despite the best efforts of Singapore goalie Noor Kusumawati Mohammed Rosman.
Substitute forward Sheridan Lea Gallagher scored the Matildas’ fourth goal of the game in the 70th minute with a shot from outside the Lionesses’ box.
Singapore, though, was able to net a consolation goal in the 89th minute. Defender Umairah Hamdan’s free-kick was mishandled by Matildas goalkeeper Chloe Lincoln, who was adjudged to have committed an own goal. It was the Lionesses’ first goal in the tourney.
“I want to give credit to the players (for) performing well in this game for most parts of it to get the result,” said Andreatta. “Again, we’ve got a number of players unavailable due to being unwell so they’re showing such resilience to keep focusing on what we can control and that’s the players on the park who are fit and available doing the job for us.”
“All these experiences are helping our footballers grow along with international minutes so that we have more depth in our national team program to help us for World Cup 2023 and beyond.”
The result means that the Matildas U23 increase their tally in Group A to 7 points behind two wins, one draw, and one loss. On the other hand, Singapore is yet to score a point on the back of four straight losses.
Both teams will finish their group stage assignments on Tuesday at 7:00 PM. Australia U23 goes up against Malaysia at the City of Imus Grandstand in Cavite while Singapore takes on Indonesia at the Binan Football Stadium in Laguna.
Singapore XI: Rosman (GK), Ruzi, Dominguez ©, Ridwan, Abdullah, Rosni, Sazali, Tay, Jeilani, Hamdan, Saiful.
Australia U23 XI: Lincoln (GK), Hunter, Heatley ©, Thomas-Chinnama, Godden, Lowry, Lemon, Zois, Blissett, Apostolakis, Karic.
Catch the entire 2022 AFF Women’s Championship live on SMART Sports and Puso Pilipinas from July 4-18.