Matildas v Taiwan: Olympic qualifying – live | Matildas – Freedom Voice


Key events

66 Mins: A replay of Nathan Cleary celebrating Fowler’s goal comes on the coverage. Gossip obviously overrides Paramount not having the rights to show the Rugba Leeg.

64 Mins: In the aftermath of the goal, Raso makes way for budding bioethicist (see the pre-game chat) Sayer.

Goal! Australia 1-0 Taiwan. Mary Fowler 62′

Fowler golazo! The Matildas absolutely needed something to break the game open and they got a moment of brilliance!

The young sensation drives inside from the left before lacing a right-footed effort inside the far post. Ssu-Yu had absolutely no chance.

60 Mins: Taiwanese skipper Hsiang-huei makes way for substitute Bi-han Chan.

59 Mins: A quick switch of play gives Foord space to move into on the left. She drives into the box and tries to welly an effort inside the near post at a bit of an angle but Ssu-Yu has it covered.

58 Mins: Catley overlaps and is played into space on the left but her cutback to the near post has nobody arriving to meet it.

58 Mins: Australia work the ball around inside their foes area but Raso’s eventually volleyed effort from a Foord pass slices off her boot.

57 Mins: Taiwan get forward but loose the ball and then all of a sudden are left stretched! Grant drives to drive forward and take advantage but Li-ping slides in to snuff out those thoughts.

56 Mins: A ball is driven into the area and Ssu-Yu drops her attempt to claim. In her attempt to dive on it, she collects Raso’s leg.

The Real Madrid attacker looks ok to continue, though.

55 Mins: Gorry tries again from a long way out but it’s straight at Ssu-Yu.

54 Mins: Another ball in for Kerr, another desperate clearance. Taiwan are giving it everything in defence and just like Iran, you have to respect it.

54 Mins: Ssu-yu gets a warning for taking too long with the goal kick. Fans still haunted by the dark arts deployed by Iran last week feel a shudder.

53 Mins: Foord wriggles into some space on the right and tries to put the ball on Kerr’s head and it does get there – only to graze the top of it and go out for a goal kick.

52 Mins: Taiwan look like they’ll have a chance to transition but Yu-hsuan is quickly swarmed by Kennedy and Grant.

51 Mins: Gorry tries to curl an effort into the path of Foord’s run to the top of the six-yard-box but it’s claimed very strongly by Ssu-yu.

50 Mins: The Australians are moving to quickly win the ball back every time they lose it. Fowler sends in a cross that can’t find a teammate.

49 Mins: Another ball into the box for Kerr, this time by Kennedy, but it’s over her head.

48 Mins: That was a chance! Cooney-Cross floats a long ball over the top of the Taiwanese defence and into the path of Kerr but the skipper isn’t clean with her attempt to claim and the attack peters out.

47 Mins: A throw in is sent in Yu-hsuan’s direction and she does enough to win another one near the halfway line. That resulting effort, however, results in a turnover.

47 Mins: Catley sends in the Matildas ninth corner of the game but the low delivery is hoofed clear.

Second Half

We are underway at Perth Oval for the second stanza.

Two substitutions made for the Matildas at halftime.

Hometown hero Lydia Williams comes into the fray for Arnold, while Charli Grant moves into the right back position in place of Wheeler.

Nathan Cleary is shown on the big screen. I’ll leave the permutations of that to other outlets.

Grace Gill on the coverage highlights Fowler as the most likely of the Matildas thus far. Hard to disagree with that.

An A-Leagues advertisement flashes across the screen, the now-injured Cortnee Vine front and centre.

The ongoing love that Australia has for the Matildas has been apparent across this sold-out series but how much of that is set to bleed through to the domestic league’s is one of the biggest questions of the coming months.

The Matildas now demand coverage and headlines whenever they’re in town, as do the Socceroos, but the A-Leagues remain largely in the shadows at the start of their 2023-24 campaign.

League administrators are tasked with finding a way to bathe in the halo effect – if there is a way to do so.

Andy Harper on the halftime show suggests the introduction of Alex Chidiac as a player that loves to operate in tight spaces. As a long-time Chidiac-truther, am a big fan of that.

The camera then cuts to Chidiac, who has wandered away from her halftime exercises and into a pack of youngsters having a kick about on the pitch. That’s adorable.

While I’ve got your attention, may I be so bold as to suggest you subscribe to the Guardian’s Moving the Goalposts newsletter? A once-a-week, free roundup of women’s football, featuring the insights of the Guardian’s team of women’s football experts.

Half-Time: Australia 0-0 Taiwan

A frustrating half ends for the Matildas, unable to break through this iron-clad bus that has been parked in front of the Taiwanese goal.

The hosts had 79% of the ball across the opening 45 minutes, won eight corners and sent in 17 shots — but only four of those efforts were on-target, the rest blocked away or wayward.

It hasn’t been quite as blunt and uninspired as things were against Iran – a first choice XI playing in this one likely having a lot to do with that – but there are signs of frustration beginning to creep in for Gustavsson’s side; a few more crosses are being forced and the commitment to combining and trying to opening up the tight spaces are getting a bit shaky.

For Hiu Ming’s side, the halftime message will almost inevitably be keep doing what you’re doing: they’ve clearly come out here to stymie the Australians and it’s working. Further, when you saw what happened when the Philippines came out and tried to play on Sunday, why would you do anything different?

45+1 Mins: We’re into the one minute of stoppage time allocated by the fourth official.

44 Mins: Raso gets to the byline but her ball for Kerr is scrambled away.

Gorry then gets down that right flank moments later and whips in a cross but Kerr’s header at the back post is off target.

42 Mins: More Matildas attacks come to naught.

Cooney-Cross is often sitting deeper in the midfield during these moves forward but one wonders if she might be better served getting forward and providing another option in attack.

She’s shown what she can do with that darting run forward a few minutes ago and Hunt and Kennedy should have enough athleticism in the backline to deal with transition attempts.

41 Mins: Fowler whips in a long-range, knuckleball like effort from outside the box but it’s always rising and goes over the bar.

39 Mins: The Matildas are again forced to recycle possession before Cooney-Cross darts forward from deep in the midfield and lays in a cross that Kerr just can’t rise to direct goalward.

In the aftermath, Fowler attempts to blast an effort on goal from inside the box but there’s a host of defenders around her and it’s blocked away.

37 Mins: Gorry has long-range bombs in her locker but her latest attempt sails over the bar.

36 Mins: A rare attack from the visitors sees the ball knocked over the top for Chi but it’s calmly claimed by Arnold before any pulses can be quickened.

35 Mins: Another Cooney-Cross corner is sent in. There’s a huge pack in the penalty area – the spirit of Australian Rules at Perth Oval lives on! – and the result is another clearance.

34 Mins: Catley has given up all pretences of being a left-back as she wins the ball back high up the field and springs Foord forward.

The attacker attempts to stab a cross in but a tide of white shirts descend and clear it away.

32 Mins: Cooney-Cross whips in the corner from the left but it’s scrambled clear. She then floats in another cross in the aftermath but the result is the same.

31 Mins: Desperate defending charges down a Fowler effort from the top of the box. The ball eventually rolls out for a corner.

30 Mins: There are some similar vibes between this game and the Iran contest given Taiwan’s low block.

However, the key difference is that while the Matildas really struggled to even create shots in their opening game of qualifying, they are at least finding a way into the penalty area and fashioning looks on goal tonight.

If this keeps going, the dam surely must break eventually.

29 Mins: Another chance goes begging! Foord drives inside from the left and slides it to Fowler, who in turn cuts it back to Gorry. The diminutive midfielder tries to keep her shot away from the keeper but Ssu-Yu falls on it.

28 Mins: Foord turns Ying-hui and fires off a long range effort trying to bend it inside the post but it’s claimed by Ssu-Yu.

26 Mins: Catley wants a corner, claiming the ball came off Chiung-Ying but no dice.

She has to wait another thirty seconds until the Matildas win their next set piece, one that is claimed by Ssu-Yu.

25 Mins: Fowler and Kerr work a combination on the left to find the Australian skipper some space. Her attempt to dink a ball into Wheeler is headed away and Cooney-Cross skies a long-range attempt from the rebound.

23 Mins: The Australians are sitting at just about 80% possession at the halfway mark of the opening stanza, experiencing an extended spell on the ball as they try to find an opening in this packed defence.

20 Mins: Fowler again from a corner! She hammers an effort over the bar after Catley catches the defence napping with a ball rolled in front of her darting run towards the near post.

20 Mins: More poking and prodding from the host nation, Raso getting down the right and winning another corner.

18 Mins: Taiwan with a rare foray into Australia’s territory but it ends with a tepid ball into the Matildas’ penalty area with no attackers in the vicinity. Arnold gets a big cheer as she comfortably collects.

16 Mins: The Matildas again work the ball around the edge of the Taiwanese area and find Raso, who sends in a shot that is cleared away for a corner.

The resulting short corner routine is quickly dashed by an offside call.

14 Mins: So close! The corner is sent in from Catley and punched clear by Ssu-Yu but only as far as Fowler.

The winger winds up with a powerful effort that crashes off the post, across the face of goal, and, somehow, out for a goal kick.

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