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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 20 June 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 20 JUNE 2015 29 SPORT Matildas advance Can the girls do it? The national team enters the FIFA Women’s World Cup knockout stages A clinical Lisa De Vanna strike has carried Australia to a 1-1 draw with Sweden and sealed its passage to the knockout stages of the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. The Matildas survived an 80-minute onslaught in their final Group D match at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium this week to set up a last-16 clash with Brazil. In doing so, they have likely bundled out Sweden, the team that had so cruelly done the same to them in the 2011 World Cup quarter-finals. Coach Alen Stajcic promised his charges would bring the same high-pressing attack that toppled Nigeria on Saturday, and his unchanged line-up duly delivered in the opening ten minutes. Progression from the ‘group of death’ appeared little more than a formality when Lisa De Vanna gave the Matildas the lead in the fourth minute. Defensive backbone Laura Alleway provided a pin-point long ball that floated over Sweden's defence and set De Vanna up for a typically clinical finish. It was all in a ruthless day's work for the veteran scoring machine, who again brought searing pace up front as she and Sam Kerr flanked Kyah Simon in a bid to exploit spaces Postecoglou to shape Carlton One point was enough to see them through to the knockout stages. PHOTO: EPA/MIKE STURK. at the back. But the Matildas' dominance was all too fleeting, as they became rattled by their higher-ranked European foes and evoked memories of that devastating match four years ago. Sofia Jakobsson provided the equaliser for Sweden in the 15th minute, the nimble striker casually cutting through Australia's broken defence to beat goalkeeper Lydia Williams at her near post with a left-footed drive from the edge of the box. Australia scrambled diligently and Elise Kellond-Knight worked industriously in the midfield, but they struggled to disrupt Sweden's staunch defensive line boasting Nilla Fischer and Lina Nilsson. One point was always likely to be enough for the Australians, as group leader US was favourite to take care of Nigeria in Wednesday's other Group D match, which they did 1-0 to seal the Matildas' passage. Spartans cement their standings The Spartans are definitely back on track as the team managed to secure a huge win against North Old Boys last week. They finished 78 points clear of the Old Boys, cementing their second place on the ladder. By the second quarter, they had done enough to secure a win, kicking 12 of the 22 overall goals, and surpassing North Old Boys' nine total goals. Eight individual goal kickers contributed to the Spartan's score, improving from just five last time they played. Now, they enter their tenth match, taking on Old Geelong. The Spartans play at home today, at 11.40 am, Rathmines Road, Hawthorn. Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou will help choose his beloved AFL team's next coach. After the sacking of Carlton coach Mick Malthouse, Postecoglou has been asked to lend his coaching expertise to help the club make an informed decision on the next manager. Postecoglou is part of a five man selection comittee, that includes recently retired player Chris Judd, Blues premiership player Ken Sheldon, and corporate recruiting specialist David Campbell. Postecoglou was chosen thanks to his amazing track record, showing he can take a flatlining team and breathe new life into it. "Ange Postecoglou brings a wealth of coaching experience and insights from a different code, having rebuilt elite playing lists and currently leading our country at the highest level," Blues president Mark LoGiudice said. Postecoglou has had exposure to the AFL coaching environment, when he was involved with selecting inductees for the league's level four accreditation course. He recently held a joint media conference with Malthouse, shortly after he guided the Socceroos to their Asian Cup win. Malthouse heaped praise on Postecoglou, especially for taking the risk with young The Socceroos coach will help the Carlton Football Club choose their next coach Ange Postecoglou with Mick Malthouse earlier this year. players. "I take my hat off to anyone who's got the courage to play kids in preference to names," he said. No date has been set for finalising the coaching job. Carlton is currently being coached by John Barker, who joined the coaching staff in 2011. Premiership coaches John Worsfold (West Coast) and Mark Thompson (Geelong) have both ruled themselves out of contention. Goalless draw for Greece in forgetful Poland friendly National team farewells Costas Katsouranis GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS The national football team should be rather happy for avoiding defeat in Tuesday's friendly against host Poland, just three days after its disgraceful 2-1 loss in the Faroe Islands. The 0-0 result at Gdansk reflects the interest and passion that the two teams showed in this end-of-season friendly, although Greece was definitely a more convincing team than the one that conceded two goals to the Faroese. Spartans enter their tenth match today. PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES. Another reason Greece will be happy with the result in that it has preserved its FIFA ranking that had been quite battered by Poland’s Kamil Grosicki (L) fights for the ball with Konstantinos Stafylidis. PHOTO: EPA/ADAM WARZAWA. its Euro 2016 qualifiers results, as it will now place Greece in the third and not the fourth pot of next month's draw for the European zone of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Coach Sergio Markarian made eight changes to the starting line-up, and the national team appeared less stressed than in its competitive games. The Uruguayan manager will be happy with the defensive performance of his players, and especially of reserve goal- keeper Stefanos Kapino. Even he was lucky enough those to see the Polish struck the crossbar on the 40th minute. This was also the farewell match with the national team for Costas Katsouranis, after 116 caps.
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