It was close, it was sometimes scrappy and sometimes brilliant, but Katie Gill's half-time goal was just enough last night to clinch the Matildas place in the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup final and with it, a place in next year's FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.
So yay for that! Great effort girls! Some interesting choices, with Elise Kellond-Knight in defence and Clare Polkinghorne playing an attacking role, but it all worked out somehow in what looked to me to be a frenetic, crazy kind of game. (Like, just how many goal kicks did Barbieri have in the first 25-minutes? A bucketload). Tommy was certainly very pleased with the effort at last night's presser in Chengdu, China, you can read what he had to say here.
Now the next thing is, can the Matildas capture their first-ever Asian Cup title when they meet Korea DPR in the final on Sunday night? Well given they beat Japan, the roaring favourites to win this, you would have to think the Matildas are in with a chance.
Here is the match details re Japan, more re the final to come later!
AFC Women's Cup semi-final - AUSTRALIA 1 (Kate Gill 45’+1) bt JAPAN 0 at the Thursday, 27 May 2010 at Chengdu Sports Center Stadium, Chengdu, China
Referee: Pannipar Kamnueng
Australia starting line-up: 1.Melissa BARBIERI (gk) (c), 4.Clare POLKINGHORNE, 5.Lauren COLTHORPE (27.Aivi LUIK 82’), 6.Servet UZUNLAR, 7.Heather GARRIOCK, 12. Kate GILL, 14.Collette MCCALLUM (22.Sam KERR 90’), 15.Sally SHIPARD, 16.Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 23.Kim Carroll, 9.Sarah WALSH (31.Teigen ALLEN 61’)
Substitutes not used: 18.Lydia WILLIAMS (GK), 3.Karla REUTER, 10.Kylie LEDBROOK, 13.Thea SLATYER (c), 17.Kyah SIMON, 19.Leena KHAMIS, 24.Tameka BUTT, 25.Casey DUMONT (gk)
Yellow cards: Collette MCCALLUM 37’, Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT 50’
Red cards: Nil
Japan starting line-up: 12.Kaihori Ayumi (gk), 2.Iwashimizu Azusa, 3.Yano Kyoko (Megumi 88’), 4.Kumagai Saki, 5.Kinga Yukari, 6.Sameshima Aya, 8.Miyama Aya, 9.Nagasato Yuki, 10.Sawa Homare, 13.Yamaguchi Mami (Ando KOZUE 35’), 16.Sudo Akiko (Utsugi Rumi 59’)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil