Substitutes not used : Sun Rui, Gao Hongxia, Han Wen Xia.
Kell, Cassandra, GK
Foster, Gill (Wilson, Amy 46)
Salisbury, Cheryl -captain
Duus, Bryony (Rockall, Taryn 63)
Mann, April (Crawford, Hayley 46)
Grant, Pam (Reuter, Karla 78)
Substitutes not used Barbieri, Melissa, Davies, Rhian, Peters, Joanne, Beattie, Amy.
The Qantas Matildas took the game to China with the Australians dominating play for good periods of a fast-paced first half and unlucky not to take the lead. China however went in at the break with a one-goal advantage before lifting their play for the second half, but found Australia strong in defence.
Although they tell you to watch for stars like • Fan Yunjie • Sun Wen • Bai Jie • Zhao Lihong • Pu Wei • Pan Lina ... but the power of Teng Wei, Qu Fei-fei, Han Duan should not be underestimated.
China crush South Africa 8-0 without Sun Wen
Earlier this year FIFAworldcup.com asked China coach Ma Liangxing “What happens if Sun Wen gets injured? Who do you have to replace her?”
As of today, that question has been categorically answered. In the first of two warm-up matches against South Africa, and with "Sunny" on the bench, young strikers Teng Wei and Han Duan, amongst others, seized their chance to show what they can do. Ma must be greatly encouraged.
Ma Liangxing paired Teng Wei with Bai Jie up front at the start. Facing the 62nd-ranked team in the world, the Steel Roses started strongly – and never let off. Bai Jie’s first shot on goal bounced to safety off the crossbar, but it was very much a sign of things to come.
Five minutes into the game, Zhao Lihong’s cross from the right found defender Li Jie unmarked in the box. She needed no second invitation, nodding home to put China ahead.
One minute later, Liu Ying picked out Bai Jie, who slipped between two defenders and banged in a second. With two early goals in the bag and confidence sky-high, the home side relaxed and began to have fun with the struggling South Africans.
In the 8th minute, Zhao Lihong swung in a corner onto the head of Teng Wei, who scored to stretch the lead to 3-0. Veteran midfielder Zhao Lihong had a stunning game, epitomized by her goal in the 30th minute when she flummoxed the African keeper with a perfect dummy before tapping the ball into an empty net. China went into the break four goals to the good.
Ghana coach Oko Aryee is pleased with the way his team have been preparing for the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003. The Black Queens have been training feverishly in the Portland area for a full six weeks, playing eight friendlies along the way.
Aryee feels that the side are on target for where they need to be heading into their first Group D match against China PR on 21 September.
“(The Chinese) are a mighty team, but we are not afraid of them,” the coach told FIFAworldcup.com. “Our preparations have gone very well. We have progressed very rapidly as a team while in Oregon.”
The team are being hosted by a youth football club, the Southside Soccer Club based in Tigard, Oregon. The club initially were going to provide use of a practice facility, but eventually the relationship grew until they helped the Black Queens raise money and arrange friendlies.
Their competitors have been varied, ranging from the Canadian women’s national team (a 1-1 draw in Seattle), to a handful of American college sides to a team made up of former university players.
A lacklustre 2-1 defeat to defending college champions University of Portland on 25 August had observers worried, but the emergence of a new offensive spark turned things around against the University of Oregon the following week.
Adjoa Bayor, who has logged time at both Robert Morris College with captain and star Alberta Sackey and second division club Northern Virginia Majestics, scored a brace in the opening minutes of the second half of a scoreless battle. With neither team able to create much up until that point, Bayor’s two long-range blasts opened up the match and signalled a new threat in Ghana’s attack.
Aryee singled out the 24-year-old forward along with Sackey and goalkeeper Memunatu Sulemana as Black Queens ready to make an impact at this month’s finals.
As for expectations, the Ghanaian coach is trying to keep his team moving in the right direction instead of making bold proclamations.
“We are hopeful of advancing out of the preliminary round,” he said. “Playing in the quarter-final in Portland would be very nice. It would be great to reach the semi-finals, but the most important thing is improving upon our performance in 1999.”
This eye on growth is necessary not just in terms of USA 2003, but also moving ahead as Africa continues to catch up with the two West African sides who lead the way in women's football, Ghana and neighbours Nigeria.
“Many countries in Africa are starting to take women's soccer seriously,” said Aryee. “It will be come increasingly difficult to qualify for one of the two World Cup spots from Africa in the future.”
Here is Aryee's informal team list heading into the finals. Official team lists will be released by FIFAworldcup.com on Saturday.
Washington - With three days left to go before the kick-off of the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup Finals, China coach Ma Liangxing has criticised his players after a lacklustre 2-2 draw against Sweden.
Sweden, who have been drawn in the same group as DPR Korea, Nigeria and the United States, took the lead through Hanna Ljungberg on 12 minutes. China got back on terms after 30 minutes when midfielder Zhao Lihong scored. Sweden retook the lead on 48 minutes and were heading for victory when Ren Liping was fouled in the box. Gao Hongxia despatched the resulting penalty.
"Their form was too bad," said Ma after the game. "They reacted too slowly and they failed to pose any threat in the air. And their passing was loose. Maybe they are too tired because we trained very hard on Sunday.
"They should play with more determination and could never give up during the full 90 minutes. Conceding two goals is normal. We will adjust our form after this match and strive for better results in the World Cup."
Despite the below-par China performance, Swedish coach Marika Domanski-Lytors is convinced the Steel Roses can, and will improve.
"They played the way they always played," said the coach. "They are very fast and very tough. I think they can go through to the final eight or the semifinals in the World Cup."
China, runners-up in the 1999 Women's World Cup, face Ghana in Los Angeles on September 21 before meeting Australia and Russia.