March 7, 2015 – 8:57AM
The destroyer: England’s Jodie Taylor celebrates a goal. Photo: Getty Images
LARNACA, Cyprus: The Matildas were unable to follow up an impressive first-up performance at the 2015 Cyprus Cup, losing 3-0 on Friday to a Jodie Taylor-inspired England.
Taylor, who played under Australian coach Alen Stajcic during the last W-League for Sydney FC, scored all three goals to put sixth-ranked England on top of Group B.
The Matildas found themselves two goals behind after 17 minutes and were never able to recover despite creating their share of chances.
After the match, a disappointed Stajcic said it was a game his team would need to learn from going into June’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
“There were some good patches but there were a lot of lessons to be learnt. We got caught on the hop in the first 15 minutes and it was a naive performance both with and without the ball,” Stajcic said.
“We probably had about 70 per cent of the possession and 70 per cent of the chances but our execution wasn’t as good as theirs and it was a big learning experience against a style of play that we need to do better against.”
Stajcic made three changes to the line-up from the Netherlands game, with Laura Alleway partnering Clare Polkinghorne in the centre of defence, and Larissa Crummer and Alanna Kennedy also starting.
The Australian women had a number of corners early but, in the 8th minute, Taylor pounced with an unstoppable strike from outside the penalty area to give England the lead.
Taylor struck again in the 17th minute, this time expertly lofting the ball over the head of Matildas goalkeeper Brianna Davey.
The Aussies tried to force their way back into the contest, striker Michelle Heyman with two chances in the first 12 minutes of the second half but she could not find the back of the net.
Davey did well to deny Taylor in the 62nd minute before Stajcic went to his bench and made a host of changes including switching his goalkeepers as Davey was replaced by Mackenzie Arnold.
Clare Polkinghorne almost pegged a goal back for the Matildas with 10 minutes to go after a goalmouth scramble, but Taylor capped off a memorable afternoon as the English striker completed her hat-trick in the 84th minute, capitalising on a defensive mix-up at the back.
In the other group match, the Netherlands and Finland played a 0-0 draw.
The Matildas take on Finland in their final group match early on Tuesday morning (2.30am AEDT).
Source : The Canberra Times