The Matildas have turned on a goal fest in their final match of the Cyprus Cup, putting six past the Czech Republic in a 6-2 victory overnight.
Making the result all the more remarkable was that the Matildas had six different goal scorers and were forced to come from a goal down in wet and windy conditions on the final day of the tournament.
While the goal haul was the Matildas’ biggest as they registered three wins from their four matches, Head Coach Alen Stajcic admitted it was not their best performance as the conditions made it difficult for both sides.
“The game was a little bit disjointed and we weren’t as fluent as we were the other night against Finland,” Stajcic said.
“In saying that, the variety we have in our attack is one of our biggest strengths, we don’t have to reply on just one or two players to score, we’ve got a range of options who all bring something different.
“Our execution in the front third was lacking but the girls tried hard in tough conditions and it was the fourth game in eight days so it was a great effort to be able to finish off the tournament like we have.”
In what was just the second meeting between the countries, it was a frenetic opening 20 minutes to the game with three goals and a missed penalty, the Czech Republic going ahead in just the 5th minute.
Stung into action, it took the Matildas just three minutes to equalise, reigning Asian Women’s Player of the Year Katrina Gorry meeting a cut back from Michelle Heyman to make it 1-1.
Heyman then had a chance to get on the score sheet herself when she was brought down in the penalty area in the 13th minute but her ensuing spot kick was saved by Czech Republic keeper Hana Sloupova.
However the missed opportunity was soon forgotten as van Egmond made it two goals from as many games, pouncing on a follow up after a superb run and shot from Caitlin Foord to put the Australians in front.
Foord went agonisingly close to making it 3-1 inside 20 minutes as the Matildas continued to press forward with intent and before half time they had a third when De Vanna picked the pocket of the Czech defence before coolly slotting her shot into the bottom left hand corner.
Eight minutes into the second half the Matildas extended their advantage further, Heyman needing only to produce a simple tap in after Sloupova could not contain midfielder Teresa Polias’ initial shot.
Despite staring down the barrel, the Czechs refused to lie down, reducing the deficit with just under half an hour to go thanks to a 30 yard effort from Benyrova.
But two goals within a minute late on from Clare Polkinghorne and Ashleigh Sykes snuffed out any Czech fight back and rounded off a big win for the girls in green and gold.
The squad will depart for Italy tomorrow where they will spend two weeks at the European Training Centre, an Australian Institute of Sport base.
Westfield Matildas 6 (Gorry 8’, van Egmond 16’, De Vanna 34’, Heyman 53’, Polkinghorne 85’, Sykes 86’)
Czech Republic 2 (Benyrova 5’/63’)
@ Tasos Marko / Paralimni, Cyprus
Westfield Matildas starting line-up: Mackenzie Arnold (gk), Servet Uzunlar (Hayley Raso 55’), Alanna Kennedy (Clare Polkinghorne 63’), Steph Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight (Gema Simon 45’), Teresa Polias, Katrina Gorry (Collette McCallum 83’), Emily van-Egmond, Lisa De Vanna, Michelle Heyman (Kyah Simon 55’), Caitlin Foord (Ashleigh Sykes 72’). Substitutes not used: Brianna Davey (gk), Laura Alleway, Kate Gill, Nicola Bolger, Larissa Crummer.