The Australian Under 17 Women's team has started the ‘Future Stars' tournament with a 6-0 loss against the USA in Auckland, New Zealand.
The experimental Australian side, with almost half the girls eligible for the next Women's U17 World Championship in 2010, were no match for the strong USA team, who are among the favourites for the inaugural FIFA Women's Under 17 World Championship, which is being held in New Zealand later this year.
The team will also face Germany and hosts New Zealand during the tournament.
With influential midfielder Tameka Butt unable to play against the physically stronger US team due to injury, it was always going to be a difficult to match their more experienced opponent.
However the girls started well and had a few chances early, the best of which saw Samatha Kerr shoot just over the bar in the 8th minute.
Slowly though the US took control and had several chances on goal, which Casey Dumont did brilliantly to save.
But on 32 minutes and from then on they dominated possession and added two quick goals before half time. Also not helping was injury to another of the older girls in Kyah Simon in the first half.
The US continued to dominate and scored a fourth goal in the 59th minute, plus further goals in the 67th and 79th minutes.
Australian goalkeeper Casey Dumont, who was captain for the game, was very good throughout and kept the scoreline down with some excellent saves, while the experienced gained by the younger girls will prove invaluable.
Coach Gary Phillips praised the girls efforts, given his side has had little preparation.
"It was a wonderful experience for these players to play against such quality opposition," he said. "We expect the USA would be in the top few teams in the world at this level.
"Given our preparation, the coaching staff were happy with our first hit-out, especially against such tough opponents. Having said that, we would expect our next performance to be an improvement.
"Physically we found it very tough, and we expect Germany to be similar.
"There were some strong performances - Casey Dumont was outstanding in goal, and Linda O'Neill worked hard in central midfield. We have seven players eligible for the next U17 World Cup (in 2010), so things look good for the future. We are looking forward to our next match on Thursday."
Australia's next match will also be a tough test, against Germany on Thursday.