The Westfield Matildas showed great character and tremendous promise in a classic encounter against Olympic Games gold medalists the United States today, ultimately going down 2-1.
uswnt aus 2012 devanna
Lisa De Vanna was at her brilliant best | TWG

In front of 19,851 spectators at the Home Depot Center, the Westfield Matildas put in an outstanding shift against the world number one side, who were made to work very hard for their win by a resolute Australian side.

Lisa De Vanna put the visitors 1-0 up before half time – capping an excellent first half showcase from Australia – before second half strikes from Alex Morgan and Shannon Boxx, from the penalty spot, secured the win for the hosts.

uswnt aus 2012 devanna2For Australia, five teenagers started the fixture and eight finished it, a significant demonstration of the staggering future potential of the Westfield Matildas.

“It was a very promising performance, I was really delighted with how the players played, with how they kept to the principles that we’re trying to i
nstill in them and how we want to play,” said Westfield Matildas coach Tom Sermanni after the match.

“I think, particularly the first 45 minutes is as good a 45 minutes as I’ve seen our team play, probably since the World Cup last year.

“When you consider we had five teenagers on at the start and eight at the finish, overall it was an outstanding performance.”

Of the 11 players that started the United States’ gold medal triumph in London last month, nine started this fixture – underlining the challenge facing the Westfield Matildas.

Despite the daunting nature of the task at hand, Australia were irresistible at best and dominant at worst through
out the first half.

Chances fell to Sarah Walsh and Katie Gill with regularity and it was just reward when De Vanna made the breakthrough on 34 minutes.

Picking up the ball from inside her own half, De Vanna showed tremendous strength and speed in charging towards the United States goal before coolly dispatching a left-footed finish past goalkeeper Hope Solo.

The hosts made four changes at the break and approached the second stanza with renewed vigour.

Local standout Morgan produced a classy finish to restore parity ten minutes after the break before substitute Boxx converted a penalty shortly after the hour mark.

uswnt aus 2012 bridaveyIn this their 22nd meeting with the United States, Australia came as close as they have to securing their first ever victory, but will ultimately benefit from a performance that emphasised the bright future of women’s football in Australia.

“It just shows a lot about the Australian character I think,” said Sermanni.

“We had a 17-year-old goalkeeper playing her second international, we had a significant road trip to get here, the environment was for the victory tour for the US, against an extremely experienced and outstanding team.

“To come here and for the players to put on the performance that they did, doesn’t just say anything about their ability, but it says a lot about their character as well.”

The Westfield Matildas will conclude their tour of the United States with a follow up friendly against the United States at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver on Wednesday, 19 September. Kick off is at 8pm local time (Kick off 12pm AEST, Thursday, 20 September).

United States                            2 (Morgan 55’, Boxx 63‘ pen)
Westfield Matildas                    1
(De Vanna 34’)

Local kick-off: 12.30pm (5.30am AEST, 17 September 2012)
Venue: The Home Depot Center, Carson, California, USA
Referee Kari Seitz (United States)

Westfield Matildas
18. Brianna Davey (gk), 2. Teigen Allen (4. Claire Polkinghorne 56’) 5. Laura Alleway (23. Alanna Kennedy 64’), 7. Caitlin Foord, 9. Sarah Walsh (c) (20. Samantha Kerr 51’), 10. Servet Uzunlar, 11. Lisa De Vanna (3. Ashley Brown 78’), 12. Katie Gill (24. Emily Gielnik 71’), 14. Collette McCallum (17. Kyah Simon 71’), 15. Emily van Egmond, 19. Stephanie Catley

Substitutes note used:
8. Danielle Brogan, 21. Mackenzie Arnold (gk), 22. Michelle Heyman
Yellow Cards:
Red Cards:

United States
1. Hope Solo (gk), 3. Christie Rampone (c) (16. Rachel Buehler 46’), 4. Becky Sauerbrunn, 5. Kelley O’Hara, 6. Amy LePeilbet (2. Heather Mitts 46’), 10. Carli Lloyd (7. Shannon Boxx 46’), 12. Lauren Cheney, 13. Alex Morgan (11. Sydney Leroux 78’), 14. Abby Wambach (8. Amy Rodriguez 67’), 15. Megan Rapinoe (9. Heather O’Reilly 46’), 17. Tobin Heath

Substitutes not used: 21. Jill Loyden (gk)
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None