Are you not entertained? after accusations of boring football against the U.S.A Australia delivered a stunning 4-3 win over Team GB in extra time Keep up to date with all the happenings at Tokyo 2020 through The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and Olympic Central.
In a momentum-swinging first half, Australia was on the front foot early before Team GB regained the upper hand. The British were unable to capitalise in a poor period of defending for The Matilda’s unable to get on the scoreboard from three shots.
Kiera Walsh’s strike had Micah beaten but not the upright. Australia was saved by the width of the woodwork. Micah was equal to Lauren Hemp’s goalbound strike when she cut inside and unleashed off her left foot.
Australia hit back in the best way possible. Sam Kerr carried the ball for half the pitch and although her cross was blocked she had earned Australia a good opportunity.
Up until this point, The Matildas had gotten the ball forward with ease but had trouble with the final pass. From this corner, Steph Catley stepped up and whipped it into a dangerous area.
Alanna Kennedy timed her jump perfectly and met the met with pace, her header fizzed into the bottom corner and Australia had a 1-0 lead to take into halftime.
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A frenetic end-to-end start to the second half saw chances at both ends. Kerr just missed getting onto a cross from Hayley Raso but it was Team GB who scored next.
Lauren Hemp had been dangerous throughout and her pace and crossing have been a feature of the tournament. in the 58th minute she curled a cross in from the right and Ellen White was able to bring Team GB back into it.
White scored her fifth of the Olympics when Australia failed to clear a long throw. Micah nearly saved but the strike had enough power behind it to beat the Matildas keeper.
Australia pressed hard to no avail, Gustavsson made changes, bringing on Cooney-Cross, Fowler, and Gielnik but could not get the breakthrough, until they did.
Sam Kerr controlled a long ball into the box and with composure and the technique that had made her one of the best in the world she finished truly. A strong shot into the bottom corner. It was the 89th minute and hope was restored but extra time loomed.
Team GB controlled the play in extra time, and Australia was reduced to finding a chance on the break. The depth on the English bench began to show as Nikita Parris became involved.
The Arsenal striker earned a disputable penalty and Caroline Weir stepped up to take it, her shot was on target but Tegan Micah was the hero on the spot. She dove, saved and Australia had more to come.
Mary Fowler was next to make her mark. The 18-year-old took a glorious touch to control a high ball, she turned swiftly and launched a strike from 20 yards. A deflection helped but the shot had the venom to fly beyond the English keeper to give Australia a 3-2 lead.
Sam Kerr added her fifth of the Olympics when her header from a Catley cross crashed in off the crossbar, Australia had a 4-2 lead but there was more drama to come.
Ellen White continued the shootout with her third of the night, her header from the barrage of attacks flew past Micah to bring it back to 3-4
As every fan chewed their nails and time ticked over in slow motion the Matildas defended for their lives and held out for an incredible win.
The Matildas will now play Sweden on Monday night.
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