AFC U-19 Women’s Championship 2011

AFC News, Thurdsay Oct 13, 2011: China secured a place at next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Uzbekistan with a 3-1 win over Australia at Thong Nhat Stadium in the penultimate round of matches in the 2011 AFC U 19 Womens Championship 2011 on Thursday.

Wang Tingting’s header had given China a half-time lead that Yao Shuangyan doubled midway through the second period. Emily Van Egmond pulled a goal back with just under ten minutes to go to give Australia hope of a comeback but that was extinguished almost immediately when Ni Mengjie netted China’s third to maintain their unbeaten record at the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship.

The result was hard on Australia, who controlled possession for large parts of the game but could not convert territorial dominance into goals. China had the first attempt on target after eight minutes when Zhang Xin’s shot was held by keeper Casey Dumont before Australia came agonisingly close to taking the lead four minutes later when Nicola Bolger saw her 30-yard strike smack the crossbar. China spurned a great opportunity in the 20th minute after a ball over the top between two defenders released Ni but she stabbed just wide of the post. Dumont then made a sharp reflex save after Yao touched a free-kick goalwards and Bolger’s long-range effort was held by Yang Yan at the other end.

Van Egmond shot wide just short of the half-hour mark before Vedrana Popovic had perhaps Australia’s best chance but headed just the wrong side of the far post following a corner. Zhao Xindi’s shot was deflected narrowly wide after the ball was cut back to the unmarked midfielder in the box but from the resulting corner, China took the lead in the 33rd minute when Wang nodded home after Dumont came but failed to beat the midfielder to the ball. China almost doubled their lead five minutes into the second period when Ni again raced clear and bore down on goal but Dumont did well to get a hand on her shot and Australia scrambled clear.

Zhao volleyed wide in the 54th minute before China extended their lead in the 66th minute. Another long ball over the top again proved the Australian defence’s undoing, allowing Yao a clear run at goal and the forward rounded the advancing Dumont before slotting into an empty net. With their World Cup dream slipping away, Australia looked to get back into the game and Linda O’Neill fired over from inside the box in the 71st minute. Shortly afterwards, Yao shot straight at Dumont when well-placed as China continued to look dangerous on the counter.

Tara Andrews could only direct Stephanie Catley’s cross beyond the far post in the 79th minute with Australia becoming increasingly desperate to find the back of the net.

It came two minutes later when Van Egmond finally beat Yang Yan but their joy was short-lived as China restored their two-goal cushion almost immediately when the ball broke to Yang Lina and she squared for Ni to stroke into an empty net. Han Jiayuan then headed Yao’s cross wide from close range at the back post as China closed out their second victory of the tournament.

In other matches DPR Korea 1-2 Japan and Korea Rep 4-1 Vietnam.

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