The Australian Under 17 Women's team has lost its second match of the ‘Future Stars' tour of New Zealand, to a powerful German side to the tune of 5-1 in Auckland.
Despite the scoreline, the young Australian team put in a better performance against their more experienced opponents and at times had the better of the game, especially in the second half.
However, Germany one of the favourites for the inaugural FIFA Under 17 Women's World Championships being held later this year in New Zealand, were too clinical in front of goals, especially on the counter-attack.
The Germans started well and had already had two attempts at goal, before taking a 4th minute lead after Casey Dumont was stranded following a clearing punch. The ball went straight a German striker 25 metres out and she lobbed the ball back over Dumont.
Dumont atoned minutes later with a great save and this seemed to settle the Aussies down and Teigan Allen was almost through on goal, but for a poor first touch.
Australia first chance came in the 26th minute, when Allen teed up Marianna Tabain 15 metres out, but her shot was saved.
A minute later it was 2-0, when the Germans broke clear on the counter and a shot from the edge of the penalty box was too good for Dumont. They extended that lead six minutes later when a long range effort from 25 metres out gave Dumont no chance at full stretch.
Australia though continued to battle hard though and put some sustained pressure on the Germans and they were rewarded with a goal right on half time, Emily van Egmond headed home a Tabain cross. A minute earlier Sophie Hogben had the ball in the back of the net, but the goal was controversially ruled out for offside.
That momentum was carried over into the second half and they were unlucky not to pull another goal back in the 55th minute, a shot from Nicola Bolger was touched onto the crossbar by the German keeper, in what was possibly a turning point in the match.
With their tails up the Australians continued to press and the German keeper denied a Tameka Butt header and within minutes the game was out of Australia's reach, after another counter-attack by the Germans.
With Australia still pressing and Germany looking tired in the hot conditions, they produced another clinical counter down the left to make it 5-1 after 82 minutes.
Samantha Kerr had two good chances to get Australia a consolation goal, but it wasn't to be.
Coach Gary Phillips was elated with the improved performance, especially with Kyah Simon unable to play because of injury and the improvement of the younger girls.
"I'm very happy with the performance; it was a dramatic improvement from game1," said Phillips. "We created many chances and the scoreline certainly doesn't reflect the performance.
"Again another great experience, but it's only experience if we can learn from it. Nicola Bolger (14yo), Teigan Allen (13yo) and Emily van Egmond (14yo) were our best players today and all are eligible for the 2010 U17 Women's World Cup."
With the three other teams, preparing for the World Championships later this year, Australia's team is clearly the youngest and most inexperienced, with half the team playing their first international games.