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Matildas reach Asian Final

Australia celebrate their second goal against Korea in the Semi-Final
Australia celebrate their second goal against Korea in the Semi-Final
Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Australia have won though to the 2014 Women’s Asian Cup final as they managed a 2-1 win over Korea in their Semi-Final at Thong Nhat Stadium in Vietnam on Thursday night.

It marks a third straight Asian Cup final for the Matildas after a loss in their first appearance in the final and a win in the last edition of the tournament.

Australia were by far the dominant side in the match as their attack got the job done, with Lisa De Vanna starring, after recovering from being accidently elbowed in the early stages.

The Matildas went for the match in the opening stages with De Vanna nearly setting up Michelle Heyman in the first minute but just not able to find the striker.

Korea really had their efforts hamstrung by club demands as they lost Ji So Yun to club duty, which forced the Koreans to look to sit back and attack Australia on the counter.

Despite that Korea could well have had the lead in the 17th minute as Yoo Young A was able to get through and shoot from close range but was denied by a superb Lydia Williams save.

Australia were pushing for a goal with De Vanna and Caitlin Foord using their speed to cause all sorts of problems for Korea but the Matildas couldn’t break through as the sides went to the break scoreless.

Two minutes in to the second half Katrina Gorry was able to put Australia in front as she found space from outside the box and launched a powerful shot in to the top corner of the net, out of the reach of Kim Jung Mi.

Australia’s lead evaporated just as quickly as Korea was able to earn a penalty when Kim Narae went down after a clash with Heyman. That allowed Park Eun Sun to step up and take the penalty, which Williams was able to get to but not keep out, leveling the scores.

That saw Korea become even more determined defensively as they were able to firmly hold Australia out for a long period.

Australia’s next chance didn’t come until the 71st minute when a cross from Gorry found Heyman but her header could only find the bar allowing Korea to clear.

With less than 15 minutes to play De Vanna was able to draw a foul, being boxed in to the corner, she was able to hold the ball and draw a foul. That foul allowed Elise Kellond-Knight to step up and hit an in-swinging free-kick that got past everybody and hit the back of the net, for her first ever international goal.

Australia thought they’d made it three in the 87th minute as Samantha Kerr had the ball in the back of the net after being played in by De Vanna but was denied by the offside flag.

In the end it didn’t matter as Australia cruised to Saturday’s final, where they will face World Champions, Japan for the second time in the tournament after a 2-2 draw in the opening match.

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