Yallop helps Australia overcome Team GB to reach semi-final
Tameka Yallop helped Australia advance into the semi-finals of the 2020 Olympic Games with a thoroughly entertaining 4-3 win against Team GB.
There were goals galore in Kashima as both sides battled for a place in the next round, but it was eventually Australia who prevailed and now have the chance of picking up an Olympic medal.
Yallop started in midfield for Tony Gustavsson’s side, with Mackenzie Arnold not featuring in the matchday squad.
Team GB started strongly in Kashima, with an early chance for former West Ham United forward Rachel Daly with only 12 minutes on the clock. Kiera Walsh struck the post two minutes later as they looked to assert their dominance early on.
Daly was again involved when another of her efforts bobbled off the crossbar before Lauren Hemp was denied brilliantly by Teagan Micah, with the Australian goalkeeper able to tip the shot on to the post.
Despite the early dominance from GB, it was the Matildas that would open the deadlock. Former Tottenham Hotspur centre back, Alanna Kennedy rose highest from a corner to nod her side in front before the break.
In the second half, Hege Riise’s side needed to start strongly, which is exactly what they did. Hammers fan Ellen White brought her side level with a wonderful header into the far corner to give GB something to build on.
White added her fifth goal of the tournament in clinical fashion, pouncing on a mistake in the heart of the Australia backline and firing the shot through the palms of Micah into the Australia goal to give GB the lead.
The Matildas weren’t out of the contest, though, Yallop went close from a well worked free kick as the clock ticked down toward the final ten minutes.
And the equaliser arrived five minutes from time, with Kerr volleying home from close range to take the game to extra time.
Into extra-time and GB looked to try and get back in front, with White forcing Micah into another superb save down to her left.
The referee then awarded a penalty in favour of Team GB, but Caroline Weir was denied from the spot to keep the game hanging in the balance.
Two minutes after the penalty was saved, Fowler found the top corner of the net with the aid of a deflection to turn the game on its head and give Australia the lead once again.
And three minutes later, Kerr put the game to bed. A fantastic ball in from Yallop found the head of Kerr who rose above Steph Houghton to extend her side's lead.
There was still time for White to grab her hat-trick, but Team GB couldn’t find that all important equaliser as the Matildas advance and will face either Japan or Sweden in the semi-final.
Elsewhere, Adriana Leon featured for Canada as they won on penalties against Brazil to reach their third consecutive Olympic semi-finals.
Leon came off the bench in extra time and scored Canada’s fourth penalty in their shootout win against the South Americans, setting up a tie against either the Netherlands or the United States in the next round.
West Ham United would like to congratulate Tameka and Adriana and wish them well for the upcoming semi-final matches, which will take place on Monday 2 August.
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