WATCH: CommBank Young Matildas defeat China U-20s in opening match

The CommBank Young Matildas have defeated the Chinese U-20 Women’s National Football Team 1-3 in the first of their two-match international series.

Goals were awarded to Daniela Galic, Sasha Grove and Ella O’Grady for Australia at the Auxiliary Field of Xiamen Egret Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The CommBank Young Matildas took the lead early when Daniela Galic won the ball inside the 18-yard box and slotted it past the keeper, making the score 0-1 to Australia after 10 minutes.

China’s best chance of the half came in the 25th minute when Lu Jiayu, steadfast in the opposition midfield, took a long-distance shot which was fumbled momentarily before being secured by Australian goalkeeper Chloe Lincoln.

Australia started to feel the pressure towards the end of the first period when Ouyang Yuhuan’s right footed effort whizzed over the crossbar, but the team in green and gold managed to hold their lead into the break. 

As the second 45 minutes played out, the CommBank Young Matildas gained more control of the match and began dominating possession.

Australia’s high press paid dividends midway through the second half after build-up play from Grace Johnston and Daniela Galic. The ball found its way to Sasha Grove, who doubled the lead for Australia after her side-footed effort into the bottom right corner.

Sasha Grove celebrating by Mark Avellino

Moments later, super-substitute Ella O’Grady put her name on the scoresheet with a brilliant strike from distance that sailed over goalkeeper Liu Chen’s head, making the score 0-3.

China was awarded a penalty kick toward the end of the second half after a hand ball in the box, which Zheng Lu confidently placed into the bottom left corner, leaving the final score 1-3 in favour of Australia.

The match was also a special occasion for Grace Johnston and Milly Boughton, who made their debuts. It was Boughton’s second debut in as many weeks, with the youngster putting on the Tottenham jersey for the first time in the Conti Cup against Bristol City at the end of last month.

CommBank Young Matildas Head Coach Leah Blayney was happy with the performance of her squad and used this match as an opportunity to get match minutes into the legs of substitutes Grace Johnston, Indiana Dos Santos, Shay Hollman, Ella O’Grady and Maya Lobo. 

“It’s extremely important that we continue to develop chemistry between the players, but it’s also important to integrate new players into our line-up and give those who have been doing well at training the opportunity to shine” Blayney said.

Acting Australian Consul-General in Guangzhou, Ms. Sophie Smith, was amongst the hundreds of fans who attended the match, along with local football fanatics and Australian university alumni currently living across the Fujian Province.

Australia will be looking to get another win under their belt when they take on China once again in the final match of the international series on Wednesday 6 December with kick-off at 3pm CST (6pm AEDT).

China v CommBank Young Matildas
Date: Wednesday, 6 December 2023
Kick-off: 1.00pm (Local)/ 4.00pm (AEDT)
Venue: Auxiliary Field of Xiamen Egret Stadium, Xiamen
Watch Here

Match Details

China PR U-20: 1 (Qiao Ruiqi (P) 83')
Australia U-20:  3 (Daniela Galic 10' Sasha Grove 65' Ella O'Grady 68')

Tournament: International Friendly
Date: Sunday 3 December 2023
Venue: Auxiliary Field of Xiamen Egret Stadium, Xiamen
Kick-off: 3:00 pm (Local) / 6:00 pm (AEDT)

Referee: Dai Bingyue (China PR)
Assistant Referees: Dai Ying (China PR) & Wen Lili (China PR)
Fourth Official: Mu Mingxin (China PR)

Australia U-20 XI: 1. Chloe Lincoln (GK), 5. Jessika Nash (C), 7. Peta Trimis (6. Ella O'Grady 45'), 8. Alana Murphy (22. Indiana Dos Santos 45'), 9. Daniela Galic (17. Shay Hollman 75'), 10. Zara Kruger (23. Avaani Prakash 87'), 11. Kahli Johnson (25. Grace Johnston 64'), 15. Alexia Apostolakis (3. Maya Lobo 75'), 16. Sasha Grove, 20. Naomi Chinnama, 21. Milly Boughton

Substitutes not used:  2. Claudia Cicco, 4. Jynaya Dos Santos, 12. Tahlia Franco (GK), 13. Milan Hammond, 14. Zoe Karipidis, 19. Lara Gooch, 24. Georgia Cassidy

Yellow Card: Sasha Grove 11' Daniela Galic 75'

Red Card: Nil