Written by the Football Federation Australia
Australia will be aiming for a top three finish at the 2008 AFC Women's Asian Cup after a 3-0 semi final defeat against Asia's top ranked nation DPR (North) Korea tonight in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Australia will now compete for third place on Sunday (7pm AET) where they will meet the loser of the second semi final to be played later this evening between Japan and China.
"I am quite pleased with reaching the semi finals which was our initial goal, and also pleased with what we achieved given the amount of upheaval within the team compared to last year's World Cup squad," said Matildas coach Tom Sermanni.
"We saw with our opponents today the level that we aspire to reach as we continue through our rebuilding phase towards the next World Cup."
Reigning Women's Asian Player of the Year Ri Kum Suk scored a stunning 60-minute hat trick as the Koreans inflicted further pain after eliminating the Matildas last year at the final stage of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics.
Temperatures hovered around 35 degrees for the afternoon kick-off with Australia caught cold by a goal after just two minutes from captain Kum Suk who then found the net again four minutes prior to the half time break.
"It was disappointing that we were outplayed in this match but DPR Korea were better than us in every aspect of the game and were thoroughly deserved winners," said Sermanni.
The Matildas were runners-up two years ago losing the final against China on penalties in Adelaide