Written by the Football Federation Australia
The Westfield Matildas have started off 2010 with a solid performance against New Zealand securing a 3-0 win in their first match of a two match series in Auckland, New Zealand.
With a year gone since the Westfield Matildas last played an international match, it was an all important win, as they lead up to the AFC Womenís Asian Cup in Chengdu, China (19-30 May, 2010).
Australia was quick to settle in the opening few minutes creating a host of attacking opportunities with Lisa De Vanna a constant threat running at the New Zealand back four.
The Westfield Matildas opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Australia put the New Zealand defence under increased pressure in their own back third.
Reward came when Heather Garriock won the ball off the Football Ferns defence and played in Sarah Walsh who was unmarked in the box.
Walsh, with a first time shot, cleverly placed the ball back behind the advancing Football Ferns goal keeper Jenny Bindon to open the Australianís account.
Bindon tried desperately to keep New Zealand in the match with a number of fine saves from De Vanna, Garriock and Collette McCallum.
Walsh however added her second eight minutes into the second half, finishing a swift counter-attacking movement she started herself.
After some decisive lead-up play, Walsh stepped across her defender to meet a low driven cross, again from Garriock, to side foot the ball past the standout Ferns goalkeeper Bindon.
Youngster Sam Kerr and Westfield W-League inaugural Golden Boot winner Leena Khamis came on for Walsh and Katie Gill midway through the second half with both players forcing Bindon into a number of top quality saves to stop the Westfield Matildas from going further ahead.
The Westfield Matildasí goal scoring had not finished yet when De Vanna grabbed one for herself with a deft lob over Bindon from close range to cap off an impressive display.
New Zealandís evening was further dampened when captain Hayley Moorwood was sent off for her second yellow card near full-time.
The match also saw the return of Sally Shipard and Kylie Ledbrook to the Westfield Matildas fold following absences of two and four years respectively and Aivi Luik made her Westfield Matildas debut when she came on in the 71st minute to replace the impressive Collette McCallum.
Westfield Matildas coach Tom Sermanni was surprised with how well his players performed following the absence of Westfield Matildas action since the beginning of February 2009.
"It was a good win, a solid performance given itís been a year since the girls have played an international," said Sermanni.
"Thereís been a few changes to the team since we last played and I wasnít quite sure what to expect.
"After such a long period between games youíre never quite sure if the teamís going to work cohesively. There were a few unknowns going into the game not only of the result but by how they (Westfield Matildas) would play and I must say I was pleasantly surprised," continued Sermanni.
"Heather (Garriock) set up all three goals and had an outstanding game. Collette McCallum was instrumental and Servet surprised me at the back with how well she has accustomed to the position.
"In fact I thought all over the park everybody played an excellent part in the performance. Itís a good start and weíll look to use this momentum to build on as we set our sights on a successful Asian Cup campaign," finished Sermanni.
The Football Ferns and the Westfield Matildas will meet again on Saturday 20th February at Bill McKinlay Park.