Newcastle’s Annalee Grove and the Young Matildas have confirmed Australia’s qualification to the AFC Under 19 Women’s Championship in Thailand later this year after a 4-1 win over Uzbekistan saw them top their qualifiers group.
It was three wins in three for the Young Matildas as they stormed through the tournament to book their Championship tickets. Grove was between the sticks for the Australian side in the three-goal victory and was beaten just once in the 77th minute by Uzbekistan striker Shahnoza Kurbonova.
It wasn’t enough to sink the Aussies however, after Kyra Cooney-Cross opening the scoring off a lofted cross to beat Zarina Saidova at her near post at the half hour mark.
Gary van Egmond’s young side came alive after that, with Princess Ibini doubling the lead in the 48th minute with a marked header, before Mary Fowler struck four minutes later. It was her seventh goal in the qualifications round in Myanmar.
Chelsea Blissett wrapped up the game off a superb Cooney-Cross set piece delivery, and Australia stamped their ticket to Thailand with the 4-1 win.
The Young Matildas join hosts Thailand, Japan, DPR Korea, Korea Republic and China PR as qualified nations for the 2019 AFC Under 19 Women’s Championship.
Australia finished fourth in 2017, just missing out in a spot in the 2018 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup with only the top three teams qualifying.
— Westfield Matildas (@TheMatildas) April 30, 2019