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Australia V Jamaica: Cup Of Nations – Live

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58 mins: Chidiac and Gorry link up again but the latter’s cross doesn’t reach Kerr. Then Nevin and Foord dovetail nicely but the Arsenal forward can’t find enough room to shoot. Much better final third interplay from Australia.

Double substitution for Jamaica with the hardworking McKenna making way for Matthews while Van Zanten is replaced by Washington.

GOAL! Australia 2-0 Jamaica (Chidiac, 56)There we go. With play broken Australia work the ball down the right, Gorry hits the byline and lays the ball back to Chidiac who shows great skill to evade two Jamaican defenders and smash the ball into the roof of the net from five metres out. That will be a very popular goal from a fan favourite.

55 mins: Everything’s getting a bit stretched and disjointed. That should suit the Matildas in transition, and almost does with Nevin on the burst, but then almost undoes them when McKenna gets the better of Catley in midfield but Hunt does superbly to shepherd the Jamaican away from danger.

53 mins: Jamaica move the ball with great confidence through the lines. It’s not as finessed as Spain but there’s excellent technique and bravery in possession, especially in the centre of the park with Spence and Primus.

51 mins: Excellent work on a couple of occasions from Foord – with and without the ball – but nothing comes of it because Vine miscontrolled a hot pass from Nevin.

49 mins: Both Vine and Gorry try to take the game on in the final third but neither can force their way through and Jamaica break. The team in black go from one end to the other until Blackwood leathers a left-footed swipe miles wide.

47 mins: The first shot of the half is a Jamaican one but Primus drags her effort wide from the edge of the box.

The second half is underway in Newcastle and Tony Gustavsson has made a couple of changes. Polkinghorne has a breather – perhaps an enforced one following her first-half head knock – with Grant coming in at right-back, Nevin shifting to the left and Catley slotting in at centre-half. Also, Chidiac is a straight swap for the disappointing Crummer on the right of midfield.

Half-time: Australia 1-0 JamaicaArnold plucks a corner out of the air like an American fighter jet neutralising a UFO weather balloon. It is the last action of an underwhelming first-half.

45+2 mins: Australia outmuscle Jamaica in midfield offering Foord room to run into but she never seemed certain and is eventually crowded out. Jamaica then earn their best chance of the night but McKenna can’t beat Arnold one-on-one after being played onside by her marker Hunt. The Matildas keeper’s reputation grows by the game.

45+1 mins: Another long ball out of defence towards Kerr is cut out by Jamaica.

44 mins: Better from Cummer, beating her direct opponent to the ball then moving dynamically outside before clipping an early ball across the top of the box. Kerr and Vine both fancy their chances but Jamaica’s last ditch defending is desperate and effective.

43 mins: Jamaica’s midfield work rate has been superb. Yet again they catch Cooney-Cross napping on the ball and it takes a tactical foul to deny the all-action Spence a chance of breaking.

41 mins: Blackwood is too strong and quick for Crummer on the left, but her shot on the angle is easy for Arnold. Jamaica’s attack allows the Matildas to counter and they take advantage of the rare opportunity with Cooney-Cross carrying the ball forward dangerously but her through-ball for Kerr is delayed too long and Jamaica block the eventual shot.

39 mins: Awful turnover coming out of defence from Hunt. The back four have not been in sync with the midfield in front of them and Jamaica’s press has picked the pockets of Gorry and Cooney-Cross repeatedly.

37 mins: Van Zanten has time and space on the right to threaten for Jamaica but she takes too long before deciding to shoot and is eventually closed down by Catley. The Arsenal fullback is soon up the other end but her cross on the overlap is cleared.

36 mins: The most obvious difference to Australia’s fluidity compared to the Spain match is down the right where the two inclusions – Nevin and Crummer – have failed to replicate the impact of Grant and Raso.

32 mins: Now there’s another concussion check stoppage with Blackwood down in the Jamaica box following a corner.

That gives me a moment to take in the replay of Gorry’s goal and pass on the excellent work of Foord in the build up, taking up that half-space between the lines she’s so good at finding and laying off to the onrushing midfielder. Excellent support-striker work.

30 mins: On the balance of play that was barely deserved, and arrived seconds after Gorry was booked for her running battle with Spence in midfield. But that’s football, one clean hit, the ball arcing away off the Australian’s boot, making it impossible for Spencer to keep out.

GOAL! Australia 1-0 Jamaica (Gorry, 28)Out of nowhere Katrina Gorry belts the Matildas in front from 25m out. It was a clean first time hit that was too high for Spencer in the Jamaica goal.

27 mins: Australia have spent a lot of time in possession circulating the ball along the back four, looking for a vertical pass, only to find none available. On more than one occasion the ball has found the feet of Gorry or Cooney-Cross only to be fired straight back with the Matildas midfielders under pressure.

25 mins: Free-kick to Australia about 10m outside the penalty area on the right. Very Steph Catley areas. But Jamaica deal with the left-footed delivery in the air. This has been a disciplined and committed first quarter from the visitors.

23 mins: Everything’s become a bit disjointed. Australia are struggling to work the ball through the lines, resorting to frequent long diagonals out of defence that Jamaica are handling with aplomb.

19 mins: Vine tries to repeat her heroics of the weekend but her effort is charged down. Jamaica go straight down the other end courtesy of two superb moments from Primus, first riding the challenge of Gorry in midfield, then advancing into the penalty area late to get her head to a cross at the far post that glances over the bar. In the same action Catley and Polkinghorne clash heads, both requiring on-field concussion tests. Gustavsson takes the opportunity to get his troops to the touchline and bellow some instructions. It has been an underwhelming start for the Matildas, all things considered.

17 mins: That pair threaten again for Jamaica with Brown threading the ball through for McKenna to run onto but Arnold is out smartly to smother on the edge of her box. Another chance created when Australia turned the ball over and found themselves full of holes in transition.

15 mins: Jamaica threaten again! Brown and McKenna link well to free the latter on the left. Her cross skims along the six-yard line begging to be slammed home but there’s nobody in a black shirt to seal the deal. Instead Polkinghorne is there, but her clearance is far from convincing.

12 mins: The rapid transition from back to front again goes through the quicksilver Foord but Australia are forced to recycle and then play a long ball into the box that Jamaica clear. The Matildas go again but once more they’re shut down in central areas and resort to a long diagonal into the penalty area that comes to nought.

Jamaica proving so far they will be no pushovers.

10 mins: The first shot on goal for the night is from Spence but after excellent interplay in the final third her left-footed effort is weak and Arnold claims it easily. Jamaica are cutting through Australia’s midfield with concerning ease.

8 mins: Gorry puts in an important reducer on Primus with Jamaica looking to break on halfway. That area was a weakness against Spain and will be vital if Australia are to play on the counter in the world cup.

The Matildas have yet to get going in attack.

6 mins: Jamaica enjoy a nice spell of possession in midfield, twice building up promisingly on the right. On the first occasion Polkinghorne stood her ground in the box and on the second the cross sailed behind for a goal kick. The Reggae Girlz have settled nicely.

5 mins: That is until Vine sprints in behind on the left wing – twice – only to fail to pick out a target on both occasions. That is an area of her game the Sydney FC bolter can definitely improve upon.

4 mins: Jamaica have matched Australia’s intensity in the early exchanges, winning plenty of duels and denying the Matildas room to express themselves.

2 mins: Australia on the front foot from the off with Foord ghosting into space between the lines but Crummer proves less incisive on the right than Raso and Jamaica clear. The Matildas will face a much different challenge than against Spain with their visitors tonight asking their hosts to do more of the tempo-setting with the ball.

Kick-off!Here we go. Can the Matildas make another fast start?

The welcome to country was thoughtful, the anthems rousing. Although not for all the mascots. One of the little tackers in front of the Jamaican team had her hands over her ears at the volume of it all, and another yawned so wide you could see her tonsils. On with the football!

And why would you shake it twice?

Who shakes a lamb’s tail?

The two sides are lined up in the tunnel ready to make their way into the Newcastle evening. We’ll be underway in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

Australia will be in traditional gold this evening. Jamaica are wearing their stunning black change kit, designed by the incredible Wales Bonner.

The Matildas need to avoid defeat tonight to secure the 2023 Cup of Nations. Earlier today Spain defeated Czechia 3-0, dominating possession 75%-25%, the shot count 19-3, and corners 7-0.

Jamaica XIConditions are very different to those in western Sydney on the weekend. Up in Newcastle it’s 20C, there’s a stiff southerly blowing, and plenty of rain has fallen on the McDonald Jones Stadium turf today. The forecast is dry for the remainder of the night.

Tonight’s goalkeepers will have to deal with heavy conditions and a slippery ball. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesIn other exciting Australian football news, the Matildas and Socceroos have locked in friendlies against female and male footballing heavyweights England.

Emma Kemp will be filing a match report later on, continuing her coverage of this competition and the burgeoning positivity around the Matildas.

Whisper it, but the Matildas may be very good again – and it is a very good time for them to be getting good again. Of course, there are caveats: Spain found a way back into the game and scored twice in the last 30 minutes; they dominated all key metrics with two-thirds possession and 19 (five on target) shots to 14 (four); the visitors are so deep in internal strife that 15 of their best players have staged a mutiny and were not on the field; the Cup of Nations is a series of glorified friendlies.

Australia XIJust the two changes for the Matildas, indicating Tony Gustavsson is keen to keep the momentum building in his first-teamers. Hayley Raso misses out with her hand injury, replaced by Larissa Crummer, while in a more surprising switch Courtney Nevin has come in for Charlotte Grant at fullback.


Jonathan Howcroft

Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of Australia v Jamaica in the 2023 Cup of Nations. Kick off at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle is 7.10pm AEDT.

So far, the tournament has gone exactly to plan for the Matildas. Czechia were dismissed confidently. Spain were downed, just. In both contests we’ve seen glimpses of the high ceiling this group of dynamic footballers possess. Now, only Jamaica stand in Australia’s way of a morale boosting piece of silverware as attention trains on July’s World Cup opener against Ireland.

It has been an especially positive run of matches for Tony Gustavsson. The Swedish coach struggled to get results or performances in his first couple of years in charge, but now with six consecutive wins under his belt he has the freedom to assert himself – be it by tinkering at the end of a condensed run of matches, or by confirming his preferred starting XI another affording them another opportunity to gel.

It would certainly benefit Clares Hunt and Polkinghorne to extend their blossoming partnership in the centre of defence, while the combination of Katrina Gorry and Kyra Cooney-Cross in midfield excelled in the first-half against Spain and deserves another chance to grow. Around those, burnishing Mary Fowler’s confidence would be no bad thing, in the process allowing Hayley Raso a chance to rest her injured fingers on the bench.

Jamaica come into tonight’s match on the back of defeats in their opening two outings of the Cup of Nations. Ranked 44th in the world, they are the tournament’s outsiders and have lost seven of their last ten in all competitions. They have had to make do without captain and record goalscorer Bunny Shaw, and the Manchester City star’s absence has been keenly felt.

Catch you soon with team news. In the meantime, feel free to send me an email or fly a tweet to @JPHowcroft.

Jamaica might have no points in the Cup of Nations, but their Wales Bonner designed kits are worthy of acclaim. Photograph: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

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