Tuesday 09 August 2016, 21:54

Australia see off Zimbabwe to progress

Australia swept Zimbabwe aside with a comprehensive 6-1 defeat of Zimbabwe to seal third in Group F at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament at Rio 2016, which confirmed their place in the knockout stages.

The Matildas were three up at the break, thanks to Lisa De Vanna, Clare Polkinghorne and Alanna Kennedy, with Kyah Simon and Michelle Heyman's brace sealing the victory after the break. Zimbabwe's late consolation came through Msipa Emmaculate.

The Aussies were ahead in the opening moments, with Katrina Gorry set free in behind the Zimbabwean defence by the excellent Elise Kellond-Knight. The diminutive No3 squared to De Vanna, who tapped home in the second minute.

Polkinghorne then set the tone for the game by converting from a set-piece. Kellond-Knight was the provider, with the African side's defence unable to keep the ball out. Kennedy rose highest from another set-piece from the No8 to nod home the Matildas' third.

After the break, Simon latched onto Steph Catley’s through ball and dispatched a calm finish past Chido Dzigirai. Substitute Heyman headed in a corner for the Matildas' fifth, and then poked home a Emily van Egmond through ball for her side's sixth.

Alen Stajcic's side pushed and pushed for the seventh goal, which would have put them above Germany into second place in the pool, but Zimbabwe stood firm for the final 25 minutes and added a goal of their own through Emmaculate, whose give-and-go with Marjory Nyaumwe tore open the Australian defence before the No5 finished off the post.

The result therefore left Australia in third, but the Aussies are guaranteed to finish as one of the best third-placed sides and progress to the final eight. They will learn their quarter-final opponent after the conclusion of the day's games.