Australia finishes third after costly late goal against

The Equalizer Staff August 9, 2016 12

Australia clinched a berth in the quarterfinals of the Rio 2016 Olympics with a 6-1 victory over Zimbabwe on Tuesday, but the late goal conceded cost the Matildas a chance at a potentially more favorable matchup in the knockout stage.

Emmaculate Msipa’s goal for Zimbabwe in second-half stoppage time put away any hopes Australia had of finishing second in Group F. The Matildas needed to erase Germany’s goal-difference of seven goals and have Germany lose to Canada — which happened; Canada won that simultaneous match, 2-1. With the Germany loss holding and Australia leading Zimbabwe 6-0, one more goal would have placed Australia in the second spot of the group and a quarterfinal match-up against the second-place team out of Group E, likely China or Sweden.

But Zimbabwe’s goal means Australia will advance as one of the two best third-place teams, likely facing either world No. 1 United States or Olympic host Brazil in the quarterfinal.

Australia scored three goals on corner kicks, and Michelle Heyman’s brace off the bench led the way. Lisa De Vanna, Claire Polkinghorne, Alanna Kennedy and Kyah Simon also scored.

The Matildas will find out their quarterfinal opponent after all of Tuesday’s matches have ended.

  • Ashley C
    • Nicole C.

      Scoring against three top 10 teams is quite an accomplishment. I hope their FA is taking notes.

      • Steglitz49

        WoSo is getting more even. Even the lesser nations can achieve something even if it is not enough.

    • dw

      These players deserve more “equal pay” status than some I could mention. Nice article that puts a lot of things into perspective.

  • Calci0

    After their WC2015 performance against the US, if they can find that form again, it should be a good game if they face the US.

    • Guest

      Their backline is weak though, the US could exploit that

      • mike

        Just like the USA’s RB is their weakest point if KO plays in that position

      • dw

        Yup, probably the weakest back 4 of the teams left.

  • Kevin

    Giving up the late goal didn’t change anything. They would have finished 3rd in the group whether it was 6-0 or 6-1.

    If they scored another goal and won 7-1, they would have needed a coin flip to determine whether GER or NZL was 2nd in the group.

  • Steglitz49

    Zimbabwe scored goals against both Germany and Australia. Can’t remember Canada’s game. Well done Zimbabwe.

    • dw

      Glad you beat me to this Steg. It bears repeating. Congrats to Zimbabwe for their 3 goals. I don’t know if they parked the bus or not, but 3 tallies suggests that they came to play some offense. Excellent work on the debut. They should be proud.

      • Steglitz49

        Thank you. Indeed. Just look how much South-Africa’s ladies have improved in 4 years and Nigeria have been a force for a while now while other African nations are creeping up.

        At the same time, it seems to end at the U19/U20 level for obvious social reasons like in other countries. That is the crux. Maybe atheltic schoalrships to American colleges would be one way forward though then they may not want to return to their own countries.