Australia v Thailand report by Football Federation Australia

Australia 5 - Thailand 1

The Westfield Matildas boosted their 2012 London Olympics qualification chances with a convincing 5-1 victory over Thailand at the Jinan Olympic Sports Centre, China today.

Four first-half goals, including a brace by late call up Michelle Heyman, gave the Westfield Matildas an unassailable lead before heading into the tunnel. A fifth goal to midfield ace Emily van Egmond in the 58th minute cemented the victory.

Heyman's goals were the first she had scored at international level but in only her third appearance showed a sign of possible things to come.

In her first time in the Westfield Matildas' Starting XI Heyman dedicated her first goal to former Illawarra Stingrays team mate Ashleigh Connor. Connor, whose birthday it would have been today, died in a car accident on her way home from training on 20 July.

Head Coach Tom Sermanni commended Heyman, who was called up to the team after Samantha Kerr sustained a serious knee injury, on her performance.

"Michelle has grown in confidence and skill in the last two years," said Sermanni.

"It's great for her to score a couple of real, quality striker's goals."

Striking partner Kyah Simon scored the Westfield Matildas' first goal of the match and of the Olympic qualifying campaign in the 14th minute, capitalising on the Westfield Matildas' sustained pressure of the Thai defence.

A Heather Garriock free kick just minutes before the opening goal ricocheted off the upright and narrowly missed.

Heyman scored the first of her two goals less than two minutes later, when she combined with Simon to get behind the defence and head the ball in.

She scored her second in the 34th when Garriock and Simon drew the defence, leaving Heyman to tap the ball in unmarked.

The fourth goal came when Simon chased down a ball on the backline and kept it in play. Heyman swept the ball back to an on-running Butt, who buried it in the back of the net.

Four goals was the margin at half time, which allowed the Westfield Matildas to make some changes and rest players ahead of the Japan game.

Elise Kellond-Knight and Heather Garriock were substituted for Clare Polkinghorne and Sally Shipard, respectively.

Caitlin Foord, who was named best young player of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, later replaced Kyah Simon.

Emily Van Egmond scored from a free kick 30 yards out in the 58th minute to take the score to 5-0, but a defensive error soon after allowed Thailand to peg back a consolation goal.

Thailand substituted their goalkeeper, but despite chances for both teams, the scored remained unchanged. The match finished 5-1.

Speaking at the press conference after the match, Westfield Matildas Head Coach Tom Sermanni said it was a good performance, but that the team would need to perform better and more consistently in their upcoming matches.

"I'm pleased that we scored five goals," said Sermanni.

"Goals could be critical in this tournament. It's not easy to score goals against any Asian team these days.

"I'm also pleased that we finished the game off by half time so we could make some changes and rest players ahead of the Japan game.

"However, our second-half performance left a lot to be desired.

"Thailand put us under a lot more pressure in the second half, and we lost our rhythm.

"We conceded a goal with a basic defensive error. If we're going to be a top team we've got to eliminate those errors.

"The next game will be a very important one, and one that will require us to be switched on for the full 90 minutes.

The Westfield Matildas will play Japan on 5 September in the third of five Olympic qualification matches.

written by Football Federation Australia