Australia books ticket to Thailand

PORT MORESBY, 24th April 2004: Australia has qualified for the 2004 FIFA Under 19 World Championship in Thailand on 10-27 November after defeating the host nation of the Oceania qualifiers Papua New Guinea, 14-1, in Port Moresby today.

After some early pressure, the Young Matildas pulled away for a comfortable win in front of 4,215 spectators packed into Lloyd Robson Oval.

The margin of victory perhaps did not properly reflect the nature of the match itself. The PNG team fought gallantly particularly in the first half but were unable to match it with the Young Matildas who were clearly superior in all areas.

Staring down the barrel of a 0-9 deficit at the break, the partisan crowd urged their charges on in the second half and they responded with a gallant second half performance when the score threatened to blow out of control.

The local fans were in raptures when the versatile Neilen Kimbai, who just minutes earlier had slotted in at goalkeeper for the injured Kiwi Toba, was called up to take a penalty awarded by Solomon Islands referee Michael Afu after lively replacement Martha Kiapin was brought down in the penalty area.

Limbai, the most experienced member of the PNG team having represented her country at the OFC Women's World Cup qualifiers last year, calmly slotted past Young Matildas goalkeeper Claire O'Shea to give PNG a well deserved goal.

In the end, the Australians cruised to victory with Leah Blayney collecting a brace of goals, including the last of the match, to go with her five from the previous match against the Solomon Islands. This made her the tournament's top scorer with seven goals in total.
Selin Kuralay scored a hat-trick of goals against PNG, as did Kylie Ledbrook who scored in both halves.

Jenna Tristram was also impressive coming in the second half to grab two goals. Alannah Reed, Katie Hilder, Renee Cartwright and Sally Shipard rounded out the scoring for the Australians.

There was some consolation for the local team as Papua New Guinea was announced afterwards by OFC Match Commissioner George Dick, as the Fair Play award winner.

The final points tally sees Australia winning with six points. PNG and Solomons were tied with 1 point apiece after their first round scoreless draw. Both teams were tied on goal difference but PNG takes out second place courtesy of scoring a goal whereas Solomons did not score.

But the performance of the Solomons was a positive sign given it was their first international women's tournament.

Match 3: Papua New Guinea vs Australia / Statistical Review

Full-time score: 1-14
Half-time score: 0-9

Aus - (10) Leah Blayney 11', 95+; (16) Alannah Reed 21'; (7) Kylie Ledbrook 27', 45', 51'; (11) Katie Hilder 30'; (9) Selin Kuralay 35', 36', 49'; (14) Renee Cartwright 40'; (6) Sally Shipard 43', (17) Jenna Tristram 73', 78'

PNG - (18) Neilen Limbai pen 69'

Cautions: nil
Expulsions: nil

Weather: fine, humid, 30 degrees celsius
Crowd attendance: 4,215

Match Officials:
Referee: Michael Afu (Solomon Islands)
Assistant Referee 1: Mata Iroa (Cook Islands)
Assistant Referee 2: Michelle Treloar (Australia)
Fourth Official: Jacqui Melksham (Australia)

Match Commissioner: George Dick (Australia)
Referee Inspector: Ken Wallace (New Zealand)

Team Line-ups (& Substitutes)

20 Kiwi Toba GK
3 Edith Sabaewa (c)
5 Karen Dobbin
6 Esther Muta(-18')
7 Cecily Dobbin
8 Cecilia Dobbin (-46')
10 Caroline Moeder
12 Samantha Peninsa
15 Aileen Lepani (-55')
16 Jacqueline Chalau
18 Neilen Limbai
1 Josepha Nion RGK
2 Beverly Bilie (+55')
4 Martha Kiapin (+18')
9 Patricia Logha (+46')
11 Talita Dobbin
13 Francisca Mandoni
14 Ludy Sabaewa
17 Jenny Mogi
19 Helen Samba

Coach: John Davani

18 Claire O'Shea GK
2 Elissia Canham
4 Emma Davision (C)
6 Sally Shipard
7 Kylie Ledbrook
9 Selin Kuralay (-65')
10 Leah Blayney
11 Katie Hilder (-46')
12 Julia Bazi
13 Kim Carroll
16 Alannah Reed (-34')
1 Alison Logue RGK
3 Nicole Somi
5 Ellen Beaumont
8 Lauren Colthorpe (+46')
14 Renee Cartwright (+34')
15 Leena Khamis
17 Jenna Tristram (+65')

Coach: Adrian Santrac

Points Ladder
Teams P W D L For Against Diff. Pts
Australia 2 2 0 0 27 1 +26 6
Papua New Guinea 2 0 1 1 1 14 -13 1
Solomon Islands 2 0 1 1 0 13 -13 1
After round 3


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