Matil­das’ rank­ing takes a hit from Chile

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport - SUN­DAY NOVEMBER 11 2018 EMMA KEMP

SOME­TIMES results defy sta­tis­tics, but that will be lit­tle com­fort to the Matil­das af­ter a shock 3-2 loss to world No.39 Chile that leaves their World Cup seed­ing in the bal­ance.

For all the pos­ses­sion and sepa­ra­tion of 33 world-rank­ing places, mis­takes and a lack of ex­e­cu­tion cost Aus­tralia dearly yes­ter­day, and its South Amer­i­can vis­i­tors claimed the first match of the se­ries at Pan­thers Sta­dium in Pen­rith.

The home side’s only con­so­la­tion was Emily van Eg­mond’s two penal­ties, but a first-half de­fen­sive howler al­lowed Fran­cisca Lara to level and, from there, Alen Sta­j­cic’s world No.6 side never ex­e­cuted in the man­ner to which it has been ac­cus­tomed.

Pre­cious FIFA rank­ings points were on the line in front of 15,185 peo­ple, a crowd top- ping even last year’s win over Brazil at the same venue.

Sta­j­cic had im­plored his team to re­dis­cover the dom­i­nance that has shot it into gen­uine World Cup con­tention in France in seven months, but this loss did noth­ing for a po­ten­tial seed­ing.

Chile will travel to Newcastle for Tues­day night’s re­match tar­get­ing a dou­ble scalp.

The Matil­das took the lead in­side nine min­utes.

A pas­sage of pos­ses­sion left Chile out of shape and, when Tameka Butt threaded a ball to Caitlin Fo­ord in the box, Geral­dine Lley­ton slid in for a des­per­ate tackle.

Im­me­di­ate ap­peals for a penalty were re­warded and van Eg­mond struck ex­pertly from the spot.

The Matil­das have had few clean sheets re­cently and an un­der­hit back­pass from Laura Alle­way en­sured this would not be one of them. The 28-year-old, given a rare op­por­tu­nity with Alanna Kennedy on the bench, left Ly­dia Wil­liams too far to run and Maria Jose Ur­ru­tia got there first.

Clare Polk­inghorne’s en­su­ing clear­ance found the chest of Lara and she grabbed a 20th-minute equaliser.

By the time half­time rolled around, the Matil­das had had 10 shots to one.

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