Finland v Australia report by FFA

Finland 0 - Australia 7

A hat-trick of goals to Angela Fimmano and Nicola Sykes has helped the Westfield Young Matildas to an impressive 7-0 victory over the Finland U-19 Women's Team in Italy yesterday. The feat was especially memorable for Sykes who was also making her Westfield Young Matildas debut. After conceding two goals in the opening 10 minutes on Saturday, Finland made a better start to the second of their international friendly matches against the Westfield Young Matildas with some early end-to-end action. Any hope for a change in fortune for the Finns was quashed in the 12th minute when Linda O'Neill hit a solid shot from 20 metres out which struck the cross-bar and bounced back into play. Nicola Bolger was on hand to capitalise on the rebound and tapped in from close range to open the scoring for the Westfield Young Matildas. Three minutes later, the misfortune of Finland continued when they conceded a penalty for a hand ball in the box. Angela Fimmano stepped up to the spot and neatly placed her shot inside the left post, just out of reach of the Finnish goalkeeper Ina Suutari who had dived to the correct side. The Westfield Young Matildas extended their lead in the 21st minute when a free-kick from Ella Mastrantonio on the right found Nicola Sykes on the edge of the 6-yard box. Sykes headed the ball into the top left corner to score her first international goal on debut. Finland rallied for the remainder of the first half, creating a number of chances, but none that particularly threatened the Westfield Young Matildas goal. The Westfield Young Matildas survived an early scare shortly after the start of the second half when Linda O'Neill had to clear the ball off her own goal-line following a goal-mouth scramble from a Finland corner. Nicole Sykes added her second goal of the match in the 50th minute after she received a long ball on the edge of the box from Teigan Allen at the back. Sykes was able to turn and hit a great strike into the top right corner of the goal. Two minutes later, Sykes completed her hat-trick in similar circumstances when Marianna Tabain played her in with another long ball from the back. Nicole entered the box at speed, and then hit a left footed shot, from an acute angle, which snuck inside the right post and into the goal. Angela Fimmano scored the Westfield Young Matildas sixth goal close to the hour mark following some good build up play. Marianna Tabain played in Ashleigh Sykes out wide who in turn crossed back to Fimmano in the box. Fimmano then let loose a stinging shot, which was assisted by a slight deflection from a Finnish defender, and found the back of the net. Fimmano scored her third goal of the game in the 70th minute slotting home from close range after Nicole Sykes set her up with a neat cutback from the by-line. Finland continued to press forward in the closing stages of the match, but the Westfield Young Matildas defence held firm to keep their goal intact and record a morale boosting 7-0 win at the final whistle. Westfield Young Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic was full of praise for his young team's performance. "It was a very good performance considering 9 of the 11 starters were aged 17 years and under. "Our play in the attacking third and the quality of our finishing was especially pleasing. "I'm particularly happy for Nicole Sykes, who scored a hat trick on her debut and has shown rapid improvement this year. "But once again, still lots of room for improvement if we are to compete against the likes of Germany and the top Asian nations" concluded Stajcic

written by Football Federation Australia