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Team GB: It's All Over

Heartache in Kashima as Australia reign victorious over Team GB in a nail biter of a quarter final.

Team GB: It's All Over

via Getty Images

30 July 2021

By Charlotte Stacey

Hege Riise’s Team GB took on Australia in the second quarter final of the day. For Team GB it was a familiar setting as they remained in Kashima from their previous fixture that ended in a 1-1 draw with Canada.

Team GB finished top of their table in Group E with seven points ahead of Canada and Olympic hosts, Japan. Australia finished third in Group G on four points below Sweden and the USA.

Team GB kicked the game off and both sides came out of the gate strongly, looking lively in possession and working hard to retrieve it. Team GB looked to edge the early part of the first half as the more dangerous of the two and at the fifteen-minute mark they began to really threaten.

A triangular passage of quick one touch passes between Kim Little, Lauren Hemp and Demi Stokes outfoxed the Australian defence releasing a fine ball into the box for Rachel Daly. Daly swung a left footed volley, but Teagan Micah managed to make the save before Daly was then called offside.

Seconds later, Keira Walsh found space beyond the 25-yeard box and fired in a whipping shot (her first of two) that hit the post, narrowly missing out on giving Team GB the lead. Despite these chances, the pendulum of momentum began to swing in the favour of the Matilda’s and unlike Team GB, the Australians capitalised on this.

The Matilda’s Steph Catley stepped up to take a corner from the right-hand side. With a inch perfect delivery, Catley’s ball directed itself to the head of Alanna Kennedy. Finding herself in space due to the static movements of Team GB’s defence, Kennedy powerfully met the ball to send it past Ellie Roebuck and put Australia one-nil up.

As expected, the Matilda’s started their second half with confidence, forcing another set piece within seconds of the restart. A shaky looking Team GB manage to clear the loose ball but found themselves s in hot water again soon enough as Hayley Raso’s cross falls to Kyah Simon who is gifted a free header. Roebuck collects.

After a tirade of Australian attack, at 55 minutes Keira Walsh took matters into her own hands, finding space to dribble through the centre of the field before releasing a pass to Hemp. Hemp made a driven run out on the wing before cutting in and taking a shot. Micah made a comfortable save.

Just minutes later Team GB find an equaliser through Ellen White. Once again, Hemp finds joy cutting in from the left, sends in a left footed cross that finds White in space. White is able to convert the header and find the back of the net.

At 65 minutes White writes her name on the scoresheet again. Leah Williamson sent a lofty throw-in into the box, White flicked it behind where it collided with Hemp. White’s quick thinking meant she tracked where the ball would land, swept up the loose ball and hit a low shot that beat Micah. Team GB were 2-1 up.

What followed was twenty minutes of fairly relaxed play from Team GB, bordering on confident at times. However, just as Team GB thought they were in the clear, Australia’s Sam Kerr shot in a last-minute equaliser. Raso fired in a cross from the left in which Kerr had already found space. Kerr received the ball and was not immediately closed down which in turn allowed her time to line up her shot and the match ended all square; Team GB – 2, Australia – 2.

With nothing to separate the two sides, extra time began as tired legs were replaced by fresh ones. Team GB looked to have the upper hand, rousing dangerously in and around the penalty area for the first few minutes. Team GB then drew a themselves a penalty after Nikita Parris was knocked as she strode toward goal. In the 100th minute of the game, Scotland’s Caroline Weir stepped up to take the spot kick. Weir hit a rather soft left-footed strike that was pushed out fairly easily by Micah.

With the missed penalty Australia found a second wind and took advantage of the deflated Brits. Substitute Mary Fowler brought the ball down just outside of Team GB’s area and took a shot that deflected off of Lucy Bronze and spun into the top right-corner of Roebuck’s goal. Australia take the advantage and end the first half of extra time 3 - 2 up.

The whistle blew to kick off the second half of extra time and Kerr beat out Steph Houghton to make it 4-2. Kerr jumped high for a header, climbing tall to deny Houghton the defensive clearance, and tipped the ball onto the crossbar with enough force that it bounced down and doubled the gulf.

But not to be ruled out, Team GB responded once again as White finally bagged herself a hat-trick in the final minutes of the game. Fran Kirby dinked in a cross from the right that White was able to connect with. White finished it off beautifully but unfortunately was not enough to undo the damage.

Full-time: Team GB 3 - 4 Australia

Team GB: Ellie Roebuck (GK), Lucy Bronze (90+21’), Steph Houghton (C), Leah Williamson, Demi Stokes (58’), Kim Little (79’), Keira Walsh (90+5’), Caroline Weir, Rachel Daly (58’), Ellen White, Lauren Hemp (90+5’)

Substitutes: Carly Telford (GK), Millie Bright (58’), Sophie Ingle (90+5’), Jill Scott (79’), Nikita Parris (90+5’), Georgia Stanway (90+21’), Fran Kirby (58’)

Australia: Teagan Micah (GK), Ellie Carpenter, Alanna Kennedy, Aivi Luik (79’), Hayley Raso (87’), Emily van Egmond, Tameka Yallop, Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord (79’), Sam Kerr (C), Kyah Simon (79’)

Substitutes: Lydia Williams (GK), Kyra Cooney-Cross (79’) (90+7’), Clare Polkinghorne (90+7’), Chloe Logarzo (87’), Mary Fowler (79’), Emily Glenik (79’), Laura Brock

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