The CommBank Young Matildas have lost 3-1 to the Chinese U-20 Women’s National Football Team in the final game of their two-match International Series at Auxiliary Field of Xiamen Egret Stadium.
The match saw attacking players Milan Hammond and Lara Gooch make their international debut for the CommBank Young Matildas, while Grace Johnston, Zoe Karipidis and Indiana Dos Santos were moved into the starting 11.
The opening goal came early in the first half after a Chinese corner found the feet of Zhang Chenxi. Yu Xingyue and Yu Jiaqi combined well up front for the team in red, with both players involved in many of China’s goal-scoring opportunities chances.
Despite not coming away with the win, Australia showed some positive patches of play and promising attacking chances, especially as the game progressed. Sasha Grove and Peta Trimis entered the field at halftime, with the substitutes making an immediate impact.
Trimis came close to adding her name to the scoresheet moments after entering the field, the forward being denied in a one-on-one against Chinese goalkeeper Liu Chen. Grove added to the Young Matildas attacking prowess with quick forward passes and decisive runs.
Claudia Cicco and Avaani Prakash played their first minutes of the China International Series, replacing Grace Johnston and Indiana Dos Santos, with attacker Ella O’Grady coming on into the second half.
Alexia Apostolakis scored for the CommBank Young Matildas from close range in the dying minutes of the game, making the final score 3-1 in favour of China.
“The International Series has been an enormous positive experience for our playing group. We’ve played in two very high-level games with quality match minutes for our youth players, which we know will be invaluable in our preparation for the tournament early next year” CommBank Young Matildas Head Coach Leah Blayney said.
Both matches in the China International Series will hold the CommBank Matildas in good stead as they begin preparations for the 2024 AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup in March next year.