Match 3: Australia qualifies for Athens Olympics

Ba, Fiji 6 March 2004: Australia has beaten Fiji 7:0 today at Govind Park, Ba to qualify as the Oceania Football Confederation representative to the 2004 FIFA Olympic women's football tournament in Athens, Greece in August.

The Matildas finished as the only undefeated team in the three-team tournament having also accounted for Papua New Guinea in an easy 10-0 win in their first match last Thursday. The Australians got a tougher test today by the less experienced Fijians but were never troubled as they racked up five goals in the first half to effectively put the match beyond doubt.

In the second half, Lana Harch completed her hat-trick four minutes after the break after scoring the first two goals of the match inside five minutes of the first half. But riding the vocal support from the locals, the brave Fijians managed to hold the Matildas to six goals until the final few seconds of regulation time before substitute Kathryn Gill got a late goal in the 90th minute to finish the scoring.

April Mann also scored a double for Australia in the first half with Gillian Foster also registering on the score-sheet.

Conditions for today's game were much more pleasant for the teams with the Govind Park surface slightly greasy after some rain in the morning which had ceased by the early afternoon before the 3:00pm kick-off. A modest crowd of 600+ turned up to the match to witness the action.

The final standings see Australia comfortable on top with six points from two wins with Papua New Guinea in second place (3) courtesy of their 2-0 win over the hosts last Tuesday. Fiji finishes at the bottom without a win but their performances were a marked improvement from their last outing at the South Pacific Games.

OFC women's football action for 2004 does not end there. The 2004 OFC Under 19 Women's tournament will kick-off in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from 17-25 April with Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu all confirmed to take part. More details on this tournament will be announced shortly.

(ends)

ROUND 3 - Match Three: Saturday, 6 March
Fiji vs Australia
Papua New Guinea bye

Match Statistics
Full-time score: Fiji 0:7 Australia
Half-time score: Fiji 0:5 Australia
Goal-scorers: AUS - (15) Lana Harch 3', 5', 49'; (9) April Mann 15', 19'; Gillian Foster 33', (17) Kathryn Gill 90'
Cautions: FIJ - (7) Kinisimere Vanua 81'
Expulsions: none
Crowd: 600+
Weather: Overcast, mild temperatures, mid-twenties (Celsius)
Pitch conditions: slightly greasy underfoot due to rain earlier
Match officials: Referee - Dongqing Zhang (China PR), Assistant Referee 1: Hongjuan Liu (China PR), Assistant Referee 2: Ayukai Shiho (Japan), Fourth Official: Hong Eun Ah (Korea), Match Commissioner - Johnny Tinsley Lulu (Vanuatu), Referee Inspector - Yves Taga (Vanuatu)

Team line-ups & Substitutions

Fiji
20. Paulini Ragani (GK)
2. Sera Talanavula (-65')
5. Asena Reba Ratu
6. Kasaya Lovodua (-81')
7. Kinisimere Vanua
8. Katarine Sanmarie (-57')
9. Mereilisone Adireki
10. Naomi Regu
13. Lavenia Yalovi
15. Alisi Meredani
16. Unaisi Moce
subs:
1. Ro Akisi Nayasa (RGK)
3. Miriama Nawaqalevu (+81')
4. Kinisimere Selau (+57')
11. Finau Vulivuli
12. Lusiana Rokobouta
14. Shirlyn Singh
17. Kini Wilson Ratoto (+65')
18. Annabel Rao

Coach: Tony Buesnel

Australia
18. Melissa BARBIERI (GK)
2. Gillian FOSTER (-75')
3. Karla REUTER
4. Dianne ALAGICH
5. Rhian DAVIES
8. Kate MCSHEA (-46')
9. AprilMANN (-46')
10. Joanne PETERS (c)
13. Amy TAYLOR
14. Leah BLAYNEY
15. Lana HARCH
subs:
1. Cassandra KELL (RGK)
6. Tal KARP
7. Sarah WALSH
11. Lisa DE VANNA
12. Pamela GRANT (+46')
16. Selin KURALAY (+46')
17. Kathryn GILL (+75')

Coach: Adrian Santric


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