Emily Gielnik celebrates scoring for the Matildas against Chile. Picture: AAP
Emily Gielnik celebrates scoring for the Matildas against Chile. Picture: AAP

Matildas seal series with win over Chile

Matildas attacker Emily Gielnik provided the hit and captain Sam Kerr some rare misses in a 1-0 win against Chile in Tuesday night's women's soccer friendly. Kerr blew a penalty, had shots saved and hit a cross-bar - but set-up teammate Gielnik's goal as the Matildas set another crowd record.

The 10,342-strong attendance at Coopers Stadium is the largest to watch a women's soccer international in Adelaide.

The previous Adelaide benchmark was 5168 for a 2006 fixture against China - the last time the Matildas played in the South Australian capital. Most came to witness the near-peerless Kerr, who was dynamic despite her misses as Australia swept the two-game series against the Chileans.

Australia's coach Ante Milicic made four changes to his starting line-up from last Saturday's 2-1 win in Sydney before a crowd of 20,029 - an Australian record for a women's international.

The tinkering had scant impact on the fluency of the Matildas, who produced a first half domination punctuated by Gielnik's 23rd minute strike. Played into space by a shrewd Kerr pass, Gielnik's first-time shot somehow eluded Chilean 'keeper Natalia Campos at the near post.

Australians Ellie Carpenter and Tameka Yallop failed to convert further chances until Kerr took centre stage on the cusp of halftime.

After a trademark dash forward, Kerr had a shot saved and the ball rebounded to near the edge of the area where Campos, scrapping for possession, brought the Australian down to give away a penalty.

But Kerr's shot from the spot, low to the left, was well-covered by Campos, leaving the hosts 1-0 up at the break despite basking in two-thirds of possession.

Australia continued their command of the world No.37 Chileans in a second half notable for another Kerr close-call - in the 48th minute her curling right- footer smacked into the cross-bar.

 

Matildas captain Sam Kerr gives her shirt to a young fan after the match. Picture: AAP
Matildas captain Sam Kerr gives her shirt to a young fan after the match. Picture: AAP

But despite their general dominance, the world No.8 Australians almost paid a hefty price for their goal-shooting waste.

From a dead-ball in the 58th minute, Chile's Daniela Zamora had only 'keeper Lydia Williams to beat but her strike was body-blocked by the Matildas custodian.

And 77 minutes in, Williams had another nervy moment when Chilean Carla Guerrero's speculative 25m shot deflected from Kerr and looped toward goal, hitting the top of the cross-bar.