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AFC Asian Women’s Cup Grand Final 2018

April 23, 2018 By: Penny Category: WA on the world stage, World Football

Saturday, 14 April 2018
Sydney, Australia

The Westfield Matildas will take on the world’s best in Europe next year after the team sealed its place at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in France courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Japan at the Amman International Stadium in Jordan on Friday (local time).

Samantha Kerr’s 86th minute equaliser against Japan not only propelled the Westfield Matildas to next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™, but also ensured that Alen Stajcic’s side advanced to the Semi-Finals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018 which is being contested in Amman.

As winners of Group B ahead of Japan, Korea Republic, and Vietnam, Australia will now face Group A Runner-up Thailand at the King Abdullah II Stadium on Tuesday evening, with kick-off at 11.45pm AEST.

The Westfield Matildas defeated Thailand 5-0 at nib Stadium in Perth last month in a pre-AFC Women’s Asian Cup friendly.

Matildas celebrate
The Westfield Matildas are heading to their seventh consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup™.

The Westfield Matildas’ Semi-Final clash against Thailand will be broadcast live, exclusive, and ad-break free during play on FOX SPORTS, and the victor will advance to the tournament’s Final against either China PR or Japan.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chairman, Mr Steven Lowy AM, today congratulated the Westfield Matildas for securing their place in next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™, which is another significant milestone for women’s football in Australia.

“The first goal at this year’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan was for the team to qualify for France, so on behalf of FFA and the entire football community we congratulate and acknowledge the players, coaches and staff in Jordan for achieving that target,” said Lowy.

“While everyone involved with the team, as well as fans, can begin to dream of what can be achieved in France next year, I know Alen (Stajcic), the staff and players remain focussed on the second goal of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, which is winning it,” he said.

FFA Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Gallop AM, echoed Lowy’s sentiments.

“It’s fantastic that the squad have booked their ticket to France,” said Gallop. “The Westfield Matildas have had a tremendous 12 months on and off the pitch, and are now just two games away from becoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup Champions for a second time.”

“Hopefully by next Saturday morning Australia will be celebrating being the reigning AFC Asian Cup Champions in both men’s and women’s football,” he said.

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in France will be held between 7 June and 7 July next year across nine hosts cities. In December 2018 Australia will discover its path to becoming world champions for the first time when the official draw is held in Boulogne-Billancourt.

AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018 – Semi-Final
Westfield Matildas v Thailand
Date: Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Venue: King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman, Thailand
Kick-off: 4.45pm (local); 11.45pm (AEST)
Note: Winner will advance to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018 Final against either China PR or Japan

Image credit: Emily Mogic

AFC Women’s Cup 2018 Results

April 23, 2018 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media, WA on the world stage, World Football

AFC Women’s Asian Cup
Football competition
Image result for asian cup
The AFC Women’s Asian Cup is a biennial competition in women’s football for national teams which belong to the Asian Football Confederation. It is the premier women’s football competition in the AFC region for national teams. Wikipedia
2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup
2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup
2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup
2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup
2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup
2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup
AFC Asian Cup
AFC Asian Cup
AFC Champions League
AFC Champions League


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Westfield Young Matildas squad named for ASEAN-Australia Football Exchange 2018

April 05, 2018 By: Penny Category: World Football

Westfield Young Matildas Squad for ASEAN-Australia Football Exchange (Camp & Friendly Match)

Name 2018 NPL Club Westfield W-League 2017/18 Club
MelindaJ BARBIERI Calder United SC Melbourne Victory
Ellie CARPENTER N/A Canberra United
Kyra COONEY-CROSS Geelong Galaxy Melbourne Victory
Chelsie DAWBER Adelaide City Adelaide United
Shadeene EVANS Football NSW Institute
Sheridan GALLAGHER Football NSW Institute
Annalee GROVE Newcastle Jets Newcastle Jets
Emily HODGSON West Adelaide Adelaide United
Angelique HRISTODOULOU Football NSW Institute Sydney FC
Princess IBINI Football NSW Institute Sydney FC
Rachel LOWE Football NSW Institute Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Jayme MILLARD Football NSW Institute
Courtney NEVIN Football NSW Institute  
Susan PHONSONGKHAM Football NSW Institute Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Taylor RAY Football NSW Institute Sydney FC
Olivia RIDDEL Football NSW Institute  
Karly ROESTBAKKEN Canberra United Canberra United
Sofia SAKALIS South Melbourne Melbourne City FC
Amy SAYER North Shore Mariners Canberra United
Julia VIGNES Football NSW Institute Sydney FC

Algarve Cup 2018

April 05, 2018 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media, World Football

Algarve Cup 2018

Algarve Cup 2018


ALGARVE CUP | Australia’s Road to France starts off with Norway, Korea Republic and Portugal at the 2018 Algarve Cup:

DATES: 28 February – 7 March 2018

Holland edge past Denmark in thriller to secure Euro 2017 title

April 04, 2018 By: Penny Category: World Football

 Holland 4-2 Denmark
 Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema scores twice as hosts pick up first major trophy

Play Video
 Holland beat Denmark 4-2 to win Euro 2017 final – video highlights

The best was saved to last in the Netherlands as Euro17’s most exciting game proved both a peerless advertisement for women’s football and turned Holland into deserved, if surprise, continental champions.

Vivianne Miedema scored twice for the Oranje but her outstanding contribution was simply one of many during a breathlessly exhilarating evening on which Denmark offered a masterclass in losing gallantly.

After three weeks here of often cagey football inhibition was thrown to the wind with both finalists evidently deciding attack to be the best form of defence. “It was a great match between two teams that really wanted to play and really wanted to attack,” said Sarina Wiegman, Holland’s coach. “Now we’re going to party really hard.”

In many ways it was a shame there had to be a loser after so much blistering pace, exhilarating wing play, intelligent passing, incisively strategic counter-attacking and ruthless finishing from both sides. Hats off, too, to Switzerland’s Esther Staubli for much sensible refereeing.

Played in front of a capacity 28,000-plus crowd the occasion also proved a decent showcase for Enschede. The city has known tough times – heavily bombed during the second World War, it suffered severe economic hardship after the collapse of its textile industry and suffered a horrific explosion at a fireworks depot which, 17 years ago, destroyed hundreds of homes.

On Sunday though this eastern Netherlands outpost, close to the German border, was in full-on party mode. As bright sun and dark clouds played hide and seek, Enschede’s streets and squares were transformed into a sea of orange, leavened only by streaks of Danish red and white.

Trains from the centre to this steep-sided stadium can rarely have been as packed since Steve McClaren steered FC Twente to the Eredivisie title in 2010.

Judging by the high percentage of enthusiastic male spectators – of all ages – it seemed that a hitherto slightly sceptical host nation really had fallen in love with women’s football.

Only last month the final had been expected to involve Germany – eight times tournament winners and holders for the past 22 years – France or maybe even England. Instead Wiegman’s women deconstructed England in the semi-final after Nils Nielsen’s Danes had shocked everyone by ending German hegemony in the quarter-finals.

With Nielsen a proud Greenlander and Wiegman having coached in the men’s game at Sparta Rotterdam, two coaches accustomed to being regarded as somewhat unusual had once again astounded all-comers.

If interest was consequently high in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, Denmark’s naturalised striker Nadia Nadim would have been discreetly cheered on by her old friends and family in Herat. Nadim fled Afghanistan as a refugee after her father was executed by the Taliban.

Now also playing for Oregon’s Portland Thorns, Nadim wanted revenge for Denmark’s 1-0 group defeat by Holland. Accordingly she lifted a sixth-minute penalty over Arsenal’s Sari van Veenendaal and high into the roof of the net after Kika van Es tripped Sanne Troelsgaard.

Until Sunday these sides had conceded three goals between them this joint reputation for defensive parsimony was well on the way to being thoroughly shredded.

Four minutes later Liverpool’s Shanice van de Sanden used her pace to get behind the Danish backline and unleash a right-wing cross. Meeting it on the run, Miedema, newly signed by Arsenal from Bayern Munich, used her first touch to shoot Holland level from 10 yards.

Nadim was thwarted by Van Veenendaal before Pernille Harder equalised courtesy of a wonderful individual goal at the end of one of many fine Danish counter-attacks. Having sprung Holland’s offside trap the striker cut in from the right before shooting low just inside a post.

If that concerned the spectators, who included Marco van Basten and Louis van Gaal, early second-half reassurance arrived when the excellent Sherida Spitse propelled their side ahead, her dummy prefacing an audacious daisy-cutting free-kick directed past a statuesque Petersen and into the bottom corner.

Undeterred Denmark’s goalkeeper performed wonders somehow to repel Miedema’s goal-bound six-yard volley before Katrine Veje hit a post.

England’s Jodie Taylor claimed the Golden Boot with five goals but Miedema guaranteed Holland the gold medal by turning sharply and shooting low past Petersen to put the trophy finally out of Denmark’s reach.

“At times we were like Bambi on ice,” said Nielsen. “But I’m very proud, sometimes the other team is just slightly better. I enjoyed it.” He was not alone.

The Guardian

Record numbers help UEFA Women’s EURO raise bar

April 04, 2018 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media, World Football

Monday 7 August 2017

The interest generated by UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 has set new high-water marks in terms of spectators, TV viewers and online users.

Netherlands players celebrate
©AFP/Getty Images
Whether it was on TV, online or at the stadium, UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 set new benchmarks as fans followed the tournament in record numbers.

Official UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 Best Eleven

The 2017 edition was the most watched in history, surpassing the 2013 audience by more than 50 million.

Sunday’s final was the highest sports programme audience of the year to date in the Netherlands, watched by an average of 4.1m viewers (83% share); there was a global audience of 13m+.
Visits to the UEFA Women’s EURO section on and the new women’s football app over the course of the tournament totalled 4,011,534. The 2013 total for the whole tournament was 1.5 million.
Social media
The official tournament social media platforms generated 550K+ interactions while there were 4.4m+ video views on the #WEURO2017 Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The Together #WePlayStrong campaign triggered 82K+ interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; the national association interactions topped 16m.
The total tournament attendance of 240,045 surpassed the record set in 2013 of 216,888. Three of the top six single-match Women’s EURO record attendances took place over the last month.

Netherlands are the first Women’s EURO hosts to sell out all their matches. The six games were watched by a total of 110,897.

The World Football Programme June 17, 2017

March 06, 2018 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media, World Football


Studio hosts this Saturday: Penny Tanner and John O’Connell
Listeners are invited to text us on 0417622921
Streaming live from 10am on or via the myTuner Radio
App. Shows archive on for one
week or on our You Tube channel.

The Team catch up with:
Football West Development Officer Gordon Duus
International Referee, Mark Clattenburg
Producer, The Four Diegos Media, Ralph Barba
Women’s Football Advocate, Sarah Groube

Discussing the news this week:
Local competitions
A League and W League
Socceroos and World Cup Qualifiers
International competitions
Upcoming Matildas Tournaments
Australia’s bid for a Women’s World Cup


USA crowned World Champions after thrilling win over Aussies

July 19, 2017 By: Penny Category: Competitions, World Football

May 21, 2017

Kieran Green

It all came down to this. The Final of the 2017 IFA Women’s Futsal World Cup in Lloret De Mar was contested by the USA and Australia. In their last meeting in the Pacific Cup, USA overcame their Aussie counterparts, who were on a revenge mission. Both sides overall were the outstanding teams at this World Cup and deservedly reached the final. It really was set up to be an incredible match.

The game began at a ferocious pace, both sides playing Futsal exactly how Futsal should be played. The USA had the better of the chances in the opening stages. Jessika Cowart coming close with a strike that flew past the post.

Shortly after Veronica Cashman was baring down on goal, Melissa Khoury raced from her goal grabbed the loose before just before Cashman could get any sort of effort on goal.

Australia grew into the game as the half went on. Pollicina battled well to keep the ball in midfield before feeding the ball wide to Chelsie Winchcombe. She opened her body and fooled Gabriella Batmani in the USA goal as she went for the near post, and she hit the outside of the upright and out for a goal kick. The closest the Aussies have come in the match.

You couldn’t separate these sides as half time approached. Pollicina struck one from distance for the Aussies that flew just wide of Batmani’s post. Maricela Padilla also tried her luck from distance but Khoury had it covered.

With less than three minutes remaining before half time, the USA almost broke the deadlock, twice. Raylene Larot fired a terrific strike towards the top corner, but Khoury tremendously tipped it over the ball. Padilla then tried her luck, but Khoury produced another stunning save to keep the scores level.

Half Time: Australia 0-0 USA

The first chance of the second half fell to the USA. Padilla chipped the ball into Katelyn Nebesnick, who laid the ball off to Raleigh Loughman but her shot was deflected wide. A good move by the USA at the beginning of the second half.USA were looking the more likely team to score. Loughman again played in Erika Lum with a fantastically weighted pass, Lum took one touch and tried to stab the ball between the legs of Khoury, but again the big keeper was equal to it and blocked the shot with her body.

Khoury was again called into action when Lum launched the ball forward to the unmarked Cashman. She spun and fired a shot towards goal but Khoury blocked it again. She was having an excellent game.

The stalemate was soon no longer as the USA took the lead. Australia were pushing forward and left a huge gap at the back. Padilla won the ball back, nutmegged Shannon Day, drove forward towards goal and stabbed the ball with her toe through the legs of Khoury who couldn’t get down quick. The large USA support were sent into raptures, as were the players. Maricela Padilla gave the USA the lead.

Australia almost immediately equalised less than a minute later. Shannon Day found space and struck towards goal but Batmani stood up to the task and palmed the ball away, top save!

Moments later Batmani was called into action again when Chelsie Winchcombe drove through on goal, squared the ball to Day, she cut in on her left foot and shot low but Batmani got down to her right very quickly to beat the ball away.

The Aussies hit the post for the second time in the game midway through the second half. Jasmin Kent played it into the box, it bobbled around with Hargreaves trying to get something on it. Pollicina ghosted in at the back post and got a strike on at goal, it beat Batmani but not the post as it crashed off the upright and away to safety.

The USA goal lead a charmed life a few times in the game, but it did no longer as the Aussies levelled the scores. Winchcombe received the ball on the left, switched the ball to Pollicina on the right, and Batmani was left with no chance as Pollicina, famous for her long range strikes in this world cup, hit a venomous strike that nestled sweetly in the top corner. With only five minutes remaining, who would prevail victorious?

The score wasn’t level for long as the USA got themselves back in front. Jessica Cowart from the kick in played the ball back to Loughman. She then squared it to Jessica Sanchez, who in turn played in Raylene Larot in space, and the little number one for the USA struck low and the ball crept in under the arms of Britt Hargreaves in the Aussies goal. Every member of the USA team and coaching staff joined in the jubilant celebrations.

The literally seconds remaining, Australia came within an inch of equalising. Pollicina cut inside from the left and curled her effort towards the top corner, but Batmani through herself through the air and tipped the ball over the bar, and that was that, the USA had won the 2017 IFA Women’s Futsal World Cup in Lloret De Mar.

Full Time: Australia 1-2 USA

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

MVP: Rihanna Pollicina – Scored a wonderful goal, and influential in the game as a whole. Unlucky to be on the losing side, but being the youngest player in the Aussie squad she has a very bright future ahead.

USA: 1- Raylene Larot, 2- Veronica Cashman, 3- Gabriella Batmani – GK, 5- Julie Meurer, 6- Emily Kuo, 7- Katelyn Nebesnick, 8- Maricela Padilla, 9- Erika Lum, 10- Jessica Cowart, 11- Alejandra Palominos Maldonado – GK, 12- Raleigh Loughman, 13- Ellie Pope, 17- Jessica Sanchez, 18- Jillian Jordan.

MVP: Raleigh Loughman – As she has been for the whole tournament, she was tremendous both going forward and defending. A real team player and a joy to watch playing Futsal.

The Girls’ Soccer Team That Joined a Boys League, and Won It

July 19, 2017 By: Penny Category: World Football


LLEIDA, Spain — The ponytailed forward cut through the rain and the defense and drove a low shot past the outstretched arm of the goalkeeper. The pinpoint strike — her 38th of the season — confirmed Andrea Gómez as the top scorer for her championship team.

The boys Gómez left in her wake, though, were not the first ones forced to retrieve one of her shots from their net. Gómez, 13, and her teammates had been confounding boys all season, playing so well that their girls’ team recently won a junior regional league in Spain over 13 boys’ teams.

“I always try to show that soccer isn’t just for boys,” Gómez said. “If you’re technically better, you can compensate for being perhaps physically weaker.”

In the United States and a handful of other countries, it is not uncommon for women to upstage their male counterparts when it comes to soccer success. But in Spain, women’s soccer, despite the country’s first Women’s World Cup appearance in 2015, remains a sideshow. Spain’s top women’s league did not sign its first major corporate sponsorship deal until last summer — three decades after the league began — and the country’s most successful club, Real Madrid, does not field a women’s squad.

Gómez plays for an amateur club, AEM Lleida, that decided almost a decade ago to focus on coaching girls. In 2014, coming off another season in which its girls dominated other girls’ teams, AEM registered one of its teams in a boys’ league for the first time.

“To push these girls, we felt they had to play against boys because you need strong opponents to make real progress,” said José María Salmerón, the club’s general director. AEM took advantage of a Spanish soccer federation rule that allows clubs to field players of any sex — including mixed teams that combine boys and girls — for junior league competitions until age 14.

Back then, not everyone was convinced the decision was a wise one.

“A few parents called us crazy when we registered the team,” said Sergio González, AEM’s president. “If this had gone very wrong, we would have been held responsible for humiliating the girls.”

The transition was not easy. The girls finished 12th in an 18-team league in their debut season. But as the team improved, and began to beat boys’ teams with more regularity, its progress generated unpleasant reactions.

“It’s really been more a problem for parents rather than their boys,” Salmerón said of comments directed at the team during matches. “It’s strange, but most of the macho comments and insults have come from the mothers of some of the boys we play.”

It is not just opponents who have struggled to adapt, however. Daniel Rodrigo, the AEM coach, recalled a recent match when the referee asked him before kickoff whether his team had not traveled to the wrong field. During another match, the referee upset the AEM players by regularly referring to them as “las princesas” — the princesses — while he directed play.

In AEM’s final home game, Gómez led her team past its toughest rival this season, the boys from La Noguera, a club from about 12 miles away. La Noguera fields teams in different age groups from an overall squad of 113 players. Only one of them, a 7-year-old, is a girl.

“We just don’t have a tradition of girls,” said Pere Clarisó, La Noguera’s technical director. He highlighted AEM’s superior discipline as one reason for its success.

“Tactically, you can see that these girls listen to every word from their coach,” he said. “They really try to do as they’re told.”

After the match, the AEM girls celebrated their title by tossing Rodrigo into the air and holding up their trophy as the stadium loudspeakers blared “We Are the Champions.” The boys from La Noguera looked dejected but were quick to offer praise, too.

“It’s hard to lose against girls,” said one player, Oriol Marchal. “But these ones really are very good.”

AEM officials said they were planning to use this season’s success to start a crowdfunding campaign that the club hopes will raise about $10,000 for its coaching program. The extra money is needed, the officials said, because the Spanish soccer federation provides little support for grass-roots girls’ soccer, and because the club has been unable to persuade any company to come aboard as a sponsor.

“Women have made real progress, which is amazing when you look at the big difference in how the money is allocated,” González said. But unequal treatment persists. In youth soccer, he said, “I know some clubs that only use their vehicles to transport their boys; the girls have to fend for themselves.”

Inside the club, initial objections faded once the team showed it could outplay boys’ teams. Ana Maria Biela acknowledged that she had been reluctant to allow her daughter, Cristina, to play matches when she was younger, especially against boys.

“I delayed as long as possible because I was afraid that she would get hurt by the boys,” Biela said. “She kept answering that she could also hurt boys.”

Now Biela and other parents are reveling in their daughters’ accomplishments, and the team’s success has helped increase the club’s female membership to more than 25 percent of its overall roster of players, the largest ratio in Lleida Province in northeastern Spain.

“They are young, so they aren’t perhaps aware that they’ve done something quite extraordinary,” Biela said.

Gómez, the captain and top scorer, said she was proud that her team helped promote the image of women’s soccer in Spain, even if her own ambition is to move eventually to the United States to play there instead.

“I want to play where women’s soccer is really valued,” she said. “The paradise is in the United States — not here, unfortunately.”

IFA World Cup Futsal Final 2017

June 11, 2017 By: Penny Category: Competitions, WA on the world stage, World Football