Australia 18-0 Indonesia
By Kieran Yap (21/1/22)
Above: Ellie Carpenter jumps for joy after scoring for the Matildas in Mumbai as they opened their Asia Cup campaign in some style. Photo: Football Australia.
The Matildas hit the ground running with an incredible 18-0 win over Indonesia to kick off their Asian Cup campaign. Nine goals on either side of halftime meant that Australia had the best possible start to the tournament and sent a strong message to the other contenders.
Not only was this Australia’s biggest ever Asia Cup win, it saw Sam Kerr become her country’s all-time record goal scorer, female or male.
It was a ruthless opening, from the kick-off Steph Catley found Sam Kerr with a long pass from the left flank. Australia won a succession of corners but could not convert them into goals. Kerr scored Australia’s first and her personal 50th in the ninth minute. Emily van Egmond, playing in an advanced role found Kerr with a defence splitting pass that the skipper easily put beyond the Indonesian goalkeeper.
Two minutes later Kerr doubled the lead with another easy finish and Caitlin Foord added a third after controlling a cross and shifting onto her right foot to shoot from close range.
Mary Fowler was next to get in on the act. Ellie Carpenter raced infield from right-back and released Fowler behind the defence. She had options in the middle but chose the safest one, her shot was buried with confidence and it was 4-0 by the 20th minute of the match.
Hayley Raso never seems to miss an opportunity to risk her own safety for the Green and Gold and her first goal typified her attitude if not her usual method of scoring.
Foord was put into space on the left and sent in a dangerous cross. Raso launched herself ballistically at the ball and headed into the net after colliding with the goalkeeper.
Amid the scoring, Australia had numerous calls for penalties turned down, mostly for debatable handballs. In the 26th minute, they finally received a spot-kick after Foord was brought down in the box. Kerr completed her hattrick with ease.
Prior to this game, Ellie Carpenter had only one international goal to her name. Despite being one of The Matildas best-attacking weapons, she rarely shoots. Her last goal was in the 2017 Algarve Cup when she bundled over a corner against Denmark.
Last night, her addition to the goal procession was much more stylish. A flowing, inventive move that involved a Kerr backheel and a Fowler run, resulted in Raso turning the ball to Carpenter. Her acceleration took her into space and her finish was emphatic. The ball hit the top corner to make it 7-0, and as the tournament goes on, it will be handy to know that she can score these types of goals if needed.
Kerr scored another from close range and then earned another penalty that van Egmond dispatched to round off the scoring for the first half.
In the second half, Gustavsson took the opportunity to rest players. Four changes were made at halftime with Catley, Fowler, Foord, and Clare Polkinghorne making way for Courtney Nevin, Kyah Simon, Tameka Yallop, and Aivi Luik.
It was a chance to preserve some of the top talent in the squad such as the irreplaceable Catley and Polkinghorne and to help players like Simon and Yallop find their scoring touch. If Australia is to be successful in this tournament, these players will need to be confident and in form.
Carpenter scored her second with a cross that sailed into the far corner. Nevin made her first impact with a strong run and low cross for Kerr to score her fifth of the afternoon.
Van Egmond scored her second with a close-range header before Yallop struck through a crowded penalty area to bring up Australia’s 13th goal.
Kyah Simon scored her first of the tournament when Kerr and Carpenter exchanged passes to set her up. The Tottenham striker controlled and turned to squeeze in a 14th goal for the rampant Aussies. Van Egmond added another a minute later and with Indonesia still reeling, Simon scored her second and Australia’s 16th.
After a long career, a retirement, and a return to the national team. Aivi Luik scored her first international goal. A near-post corner was met by the defender who flicked it with her heel to score the most artistic and stylish of the 17 goals so far.
Raso wrapped things up in a nice green and gold ribbon when she met a cross at the far post to end the rout with an 18th Matildas goal.
This by any measure was a job well done by the players and Tony Gustavsson. Australia needed to win the first game and to do so convincingly. China had won their match 4-0 and looked dangerous. An 18-0 victory over any opponent is a statement of intent.
Most importantly, all of the Aussies that took to the field played their roles. Clare Wheeler was disciplined and committed as the designated defensive midfielder. When the Indonesian’s did try to carry or play the ball through midfield she snapped into tackles and presses hard. Wheeler was also an outlet for any lateral or sideways passes, she is a natural for the role and played Indonesia with the same intensity she showed against Brazil and the USA.
Emily van Egmond and Mary Fowler make a fearsome attacking duo in midfield. They created chances for others and scored goals themselves. Both are creative, ambitious playmakers who were given the time and space to damage the opposition. Essential to Australia’s dominance was a willingness to create turnovers from the front and they worked hard to win the ball back when it was lost.
Foord and Simon both found the net and Holly McNamara was impressive, although unlucky not to score. For Australia to win this tournament they need more than just Sam Kerr in scoring form. If Foord and Simon are confident in front of goal it makes Australia a much more dangerous proposition for anybody coaching against them.
The experiment with Alanna Kennedy upfront was interesting. She did not score, but she provides an element of chaos. There is little chance Indonesia was prepared for that to happen and it may have been a view into Gustavsson’s other attacking plans.
Sam Kerr did was she always does. Five goals is a spectacular output from the striker. She finished the game as Australia’s all-time leading scorer and had enough chances to miss a penalty and hit the bar with another effort, yet still finished as the game’s top scorer.
This was a game in which Australia played at their best for the full 90 minutes. They were clinical, unrelenting, hard-working, and stylish, sometimes in the same passage of play.
Despite the score, there were no attempts at lairising. No unnecessary freestyle attempts or excessive stepovers. Celebrations were muted and the intensity was maintained.
This was a thoroughly professional performance by a team that has shown the rest of the tournament that they mean business.
Teams: AUSTRALIA (4-1-4-1): Arnold, Carpenter, Kennedy, Catley, Wheeler, Raso, Fowler, van Egmond, Foord, Kerr. Subs used: Nevin, Luik, Yallop, Simon, McNamara.
Scorers: Kerr 9′, 11′ 26′ (pen), 36′, 54′. Foord 14′, Fowler 17′, Raso 24′, 88′. Carpenter 34′, 49′. van Egmond 39′ (pen), 57′, 69′. Yallop 59′, Simon 68′, 71′. Luik 79′.
INDONESIA (4-5-1): Supriyanto, Rumbewas, A.Oktafiani, Riski, Lestari, P.Oktafianti, Nurmalita, Maeisyaroh, Silfianus, Amiatun, Muzdalifah. Subs used: Nurhalimah, Nurrohmah, Viandrisa, Mulysari, Pattinasarany.
Referee: Mahsa Ghorbani (Iran).
Attendance: Behind Closed Doors.