The Matilda’s defeated Jamaica 3-0 to retain the Cup of Nations in Newcastle on Wednesday night. Although the Matilda’s had already secured the trophy with a 3-2 win over Spain in their previous game, Australia showed no sign of letting up as they continue their great run of form leading into the World Cup in July.
The Jamaican side started well in their typical physical fashion. However, it was Australia who scored first with Katrina Gorry curling an excellent long distance shot past Jamaican goalkeeper Becky Spencer.
The rest of the first half was dominated by the Jamaicans as Australia at times looked flat, and lacking the flair that they showed in their previous game against Spain. Luckily for the Matilda’s, their in-form goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold stood up yet again, making an excellent save against Jamaican striker Kayla McKenna.
The second half was a different story for the Australian side as they came out firing with the intensity that they lacked in the first half. It wasn’t long before substitute, Alex Chidiac found the back of the net in the 56th minute, dodging around several defenders in the box before finishing superbly, only her second goal in her international career.
The Matilda’s continued to press and create chances in the second half, with Caitlin Foord scoring an absolute screamer from outside the box in the 67th minute to put Australia up 3-0. Jamaica never gave up in the last half and would have hit the scoresheet if not for yet another excellent save from player of the tournament Mackenzie Arnold
Matilda’s coach Tony Gustaffson admitted the girls weren’t at their best in the first half but was proud of their tournament.
“We can’t discard that it wasn’t a brilliant game tonight for example it wasn’t a brilliant first half against Czechia it wasn’t a brilliant second half against Spain,” Gustaffson said.
“But tournament football is about finding a way to win, grinding through believing what you’re doing and I really credit the players tonight”.
The Matilda’s have had an excellent campaign so far in the lead up to the World Cup on home soil in Australia/New Zealand in July.
Their next game will be a real test of where they are at leading up to the worlds most prestigious tournament, as they face the number 4 ranked England Lionesses on April 11th at Brentford in England.