How 2020/21 Westfield W-League stars performed in United States stalemate

MELBOURNE City’s star goalkeeper of 2020/21 Teagan Micah kept a clean sheet against world number one United States on Tuesday night, to help the Matildas progress to the Quarter Finals at the Tokyo 2020 Women’s Football Tournament.

Micah was one of five representatives from the 2020/21 Westfield W-League season to feature in the goalless draw which ensured Australia finished as one of the two best third-place finishers of the group stage to progress to the final eight. 

As the Matildas begin preparations for a Quarter Final clash with Great Britain on Friday night, takes a look at how all five players who featured through the 2020/21 Westfield W-League campaign fared against United States.

Teagan Micah

After shipping four goals against Sweden, Matildas boss Tony Gustavsson kept his faith in Micah to stand tall against the fearsome firepower possessed by the United States strikeforce. 

Knowing that a point would all-but secure safe passage to the Quarter Finals, the Matildas took a conservative approach into their final group stage fixture. But Micah was called upon to make four saves from four shots on target, which she managed with comfort and conviction to keep her sheet clean in the 0-0 draw. 

Clare Polkinghorne

Polkinghorne put in her third 90-minute shift of the Olympics, joining forces with Micah and Australia’s defensive unit to shut out United States.

Polkinghorne took 87 touches and played 75 passes at 84% accuracy in a contest which Australia attempted to control with passing play back and forth across the defensive line. Brisbane Roar’s 2020/21 captain won over 75% of her nine duels, adding two tackles and six ball recoveries to her overall game.

Polkinghorne takes possession ahead of Christen Press

Tameka Yallop

Yallop played 90 minutes for the first time at Tokyo 2020 against United States after being substituted by Gustavsson against both Sweden and New Zealand.

Yallop was down on her usual passing accuracy, hitting her mark with 83.3% of her 18 pass attempts throughout the game. She created one chance and took two shots, firing one on target. 

Yallop denies United States star Megan Rapinoe space in the 0-0 draw

Kyra Cooney-Cross

The minutes are continuing to stack up for Cooney-Cross, who saw another increase to her playing time off the bench in the United States clash.

The Melbourne Victory midfielder was given 28 minutes in the second half, but struggled to make an impact as a cagey affair drifted to its conclusion. Cooney-Cross took 16 touches and played nine passes after replacing Chloe Logarzo just beyond the hour mark.

Cooney-Cross (left) closes in on United States forward Rose Lavelle

Emily Gielnik

Six minutes off the bench against United States took Gielnik’s total to 10 for the tournament as Gustavsson continues to hand the 2020/21 Westfield W-League Golden Boot winner brief appearances off the bench at Tokyo 2020.