Five star Aussies come back again to top the group

May 18, 2017


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The second game of Group B saw Catalonia take on Australia. The Catalans sat top of the group, and a win would see them qualify for the semi-final. The Australians knew this was already a must win match after their opening game draw with Russia.


The first half was a stalemate up until five minutes to go when Catalonia opened the scoring through Belen Entrena. Australia almost immediately responded to level the scores thanks to Chelsie Winchcombe.


The opening stages were very tight, neither side having any clear-cut chances. Rhianna Pollicina’s long range effort was saved comfortably by Catalonia keeper Sara Carrera.


The Catalans came close to opening the scoring when a quickly taken corner by Anna Arnau found Aina Moya in space but Britt Hargreaves was equal to the shot and pushed it away to safety.


Catalonia were the team that looked more likely to score when they went forward. They came even closer to opening the scoring when Moya struck the post. Celia Velasco won the ball back from Shannon Day, squared it to Moya but her shot struck the foot of the post and out of play for a goal kick.


Britt Hargreaves was keeping her side in it as the Catalans lead a siege on the Aussie goal. Both Moya and Alma Cruz tried their luck but to no avail as Hargreaves stood firm on more than one occasion.


Catalonia did eventually break the deadlock with five minutes of the first half remaining. A quickly taken Australia corner was caught well by Carrera. She released the ball quickly to Velasco who was breaking forward. Australia had committed all players other than keeper Hargreaves forward for the corner, and Velasco was accompanied by Belen Entrena, who found space, Velasco fed the ball to her and she knocked the ball into the empty net, past the helpless Hargreaves.


Almost immediately, Australia equalised. A free kick taken by Jasmin Kent found Chelsie Winchcombe in acres of space on the edge of the box, and she poked the ball through the legs of Carrera to level the scores at one each.


Half Time: Catalonia 1-1 Australia


The second half was only two minutes old when Australia put themselves in front. Jessica Lindquist fed a lovely through ball to skipper Jasmin Kent, she took the ball in her path and in one movement she finished powerfully across Carrera into the side netting, sparking delightful Aussie celebrations.


The half time team talk in the Aussie dressing room must of worked as it was all guns blazing for them in the second half. Catalonia goalkeeper Carrera pulled off a great double save, first of all from Day then followed by Kent, to keep the Catalans only one goal behind.


After some brief Catalonia pressure, Australia added their third of the game, and it was the second for Chelsie Winchcombe. Andrea Preiato found herself in some space 15 yards out, she drove the ball into the box and it fell to Winchcombe only a yard out and she finished high into the roof of the net.


Catalonia were huffing and puffing to get a goal back, Moya coming closest after a superb team move, but Hargreaves stood up to the test and tipped the ball over the bar.


A little over five minute was left on the clock when Australia scored their fourth of the game. Day finished off a great team move from an incredibly acute angle. Winchcombe played the ball down the line towards Day but the ball looked as though it would run out of play. Day wrapped her foot around the ball and it flew just inside the far post.


Catalonia did get themselves a consolation goal late in the game thanks to Julia Sabate. Arnau played in Entrena down the left and she squared the ball to the unmarked Sabate who side footed the ball into the goal.


Seconds remained when Australia scored their fifth goal to round off a good performance. Sophie Jones tapped the ball through the legs of Carrera, and that was that.

Full Time: Catalonia 2-5 Australia

Catalonia: 1- Sara Carrera, 6- Aina Moya, 7- Laura Viura, 14- Marina Flor, 17- Sara Carvalho, 18- Alma Cruz, 11- Ana Rodriguez, 9- Julia Sabaté, 8- Anna Arnau, 4- Celia Velasc, 10- Belen Entrena


MVP: Aina Moya was Catalonia's most dangerous player throughout.


Australia: 1- Britt Hargreaves, 2- Lindsey Jobling, 3- Lori Depczynski, 4- Jasmin Kent, 5- Chelsie Winchcombe, 6- Sophie Jones, 7- Shannon Day, 8- Andrea Preiato, 9- Caitlin Jarvie, 10- Rhianna Pollicina, 11- Melissa Khoury, 16- Jessica Lindquist


MVP: Chelsie Winchcombe scored two and set up one, including the crucial equaliser when backs were against the wall.




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