16/04/2024
Sam Kerr's heroics proved key as Australia ran out winners over the Phillippnes ( Photo via AFC Asian Cup Twitter )

Sam Kerr's heroics proved key as Australia ran out winners over the Phillippnes ( Photo via AFC Asian Cup Twitter )

It was another easy victory for the Matildas, but not without some concern as a brilliant second-half performance allowed them to pick up a victory over the Philippines.

After a ridiculous and lethal performance from the Matildas after they defeated Indonesia 18-0, captain Sam Kerr turned hero as she helped Australia drive to a compressive 4-0 win over the Philippines, who are coached by former Australian coach Alen Stajcic.

It was a tough start for Australia early on with the Philippines fighting hard early on under the guidance of former Matilda’s coach Stajcic’s and in the end, it proved to be a lacklustre and unproductive first half for Gustavvson’s side.

Australia had a number of chances in the first half to break the deadlock but brilliant defending kept Stajcic’s team in the game.

Kerr continued her excellent start to her Asian Cup campaign as she gave Australia the lead it deserved right after half-time and shortly after, Kyah Simon made it two for.

Emily Van Egmond found herself amongst the goalscorers as she headed home the Matildas’ third and in the final minutes of the match, an excellent strike from Mary Fowler rounded out the goals in a hotly contested clash.

It was a competitive and close first half between Australia and the Philippines ( Photo via AFC Asian Cup Twitter )

Speaking to media post-match, Tony Gustavsson was extremely impressed with Stajcic’s Philippines and how they performed against the Matildas.

“They have done really good preparation work going into this game,” he said.

“I think we were able to stay focused and not get frustrated.

Alen Stajcic’s side had been preparing for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup campaign for a number of months now ( Photo via Matilda’s Twitter)

Remy Siemsen and Kyra Cooney-Cross were introduced late on as Gustavsson also gave minutes to youngsters Courtney Vine and Holly McNamara.

During the first half, Stajcic’s side was able to nullify the attacking threat of Australia, but in the end, the power that the Matildas possessed proved too strong.

“We knew this was going to be a very different game from the opening game,” Gustavsson said.

“I have to give a lot of credit to the Phillippines, I think they made it very difficult.”

A Sloppy first-half

It was an uncanny first-half performance from the Matildas against Indonesia to what we saw against the Philippines in the opening 45 minutes.

Missed placed passes, being unable to convert key chances and a general off-putting feeling were all issues Gustavsson was facing leading into half-time when the scores were locked.

Gustavsson, however, did give credit to how Stajcic prepared the relatively inexperienced nation.

“What can happen in a game like this is when you create that many chances like we did in the first half and the stats say you should be up 3-0 or 4-0,” he said.

“You can tend to sometimes lose your head and get frustrated.

“We talked about that at halftime and we said just stay focused on what we are doing, then the players came out with conviction and confidence in the second half.

“They knew that when the first goal came that the second and the third and the fourth would too.

More Matildas News

2022 AFC Women’s Asia Cup: Lethal Kerr runs inexperienced Indonesia ragged

2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup: From Aussie Gus to Teacher Tony

Champions: Stars of success remember Matildas’ Asian Cup of 2010

Captain Kerr sets the trend

The 28-year-old forward was a key part of Australia’s victory over the Philippines as she netted the opener from a corner with a delightful header for her sixth goal so far this campaign.

She very nearly could have had one or two more goals as she squandered a chance from close in the first half and also cheaply turned over possession when trying to set up a teammate in the opening 15-minute stanza.

Gustavsson is delighted to have a player of Kerr’s ability in his playing squad.

“I have said that from day one that I am really really appreciative that I can be a small part of Sam’s amazing career,” he said.

“She is an amazing player but also maybe an amazing captain and an amazing person.

“It’s a privilege to work with her every day, not to reveal what she said at half-time but it is not just me talking at half time it is her as a captain.

“She is leading this team in such an impressive way.”

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