Young Matildas suffer semi-final defeat

image: Young Matildas and senior Myanmar side before kick-off.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Staff writer
The Young Matildas have been narrowly beaten in the semi-finals of the AFF Women’s Championship, going down 1-0 to World Cup bound Myanmar.

The Australian U-20’s struggled to break down their opposition’s compact defence despite dominating possession throughout the match.

Ante Juric’s side created several chances in a tight first-half but they lacked the cutting edge that had been a hallmark of their play at the tournament in Vietnam.

Instead the Aussies were guilty of turning the ball over too easily when committing players forward leaving them vulnerable to counter attacks.

Myanmar were not able to make the most of their chances however as the sides went to the break deadlocked.

The Young Matildas continued to assert their dominance in the second-half and looked more assured on the ball as the match wore on.

Unfortunately they were undone by a sucker punch from their opposition, with Myanmar opening the scoring after some swift ball movement in transition.

The Aussies desperately pressed throughout the rest of the match in search of an equaliser but could not break down a stubborn defence that held on for the win.

Coach Ante Juric was disappointed his side would not get the chance to contest the final but said to squad would take many positives from their experience.

“There is obvious disappointment amongst the team that we did not qualify for the final with this loss,” Juric said.

“However as a young squad like this there a positives we can take from this loss and more importantly lessons learnt from this loss.

“We look forward to Vietnam on Sunday in the 3rd/4th play-off and hope to finish strongly with a good performance.

“From there we will look to continue our preparation for the all-important World Cup qualifier in August and take with us the valuable experiences from this tournament.”