Foord's Matildas waltz on to the 2015 World Cup

Caitlin Foord (front) and Michelle Heyman (back) hit party mode in Ho Chi Minh City. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Caitlin Foord (front) and Michelle Heyman (back) hit party mode in Ho Chi Minh City. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


After announcing herself on the international stage at the last World Cup, Lake Illawarra's Caitlin Foord is setting her sights on another successful campaign, as the Matildas qualified with a 2-0 win over Vietnam.

Foord - who was named best young player at the 2011 tournament in Germany - and fellow former Illawarra Stingrays star Michelle Heyman - played in Monday morning's victory, helping Australia to their sixth consecutive World Cup.

The Matildas created a series of chances, but could only find the net twice courtesy of a comical own goal just before half-time, while a stunning last-minute long-range strike from midfielder Katrina Gorry capped qualification in style.

The result also lifted Australia into the semi-finals of the Asian Women's Cup after finishing second on goal difference in Group A behind world champions Japan, who also secured their ticket to next year's World Cup in Canada with victory over Jordan.

It seemed only a matter of time before Australia would overrun their opponents with Emily Van Egmond, Alanna Kennedy, Heyman and Foord all narrowly failing to find the net.

However, despite several impressive patches of play, it took an unusual goal to break the deadlock.

A free kick from close range incorrectly awarded for a deliberate back pass was fired at goal by Van Egmond, and ricocheted along the goal line before Vietnam captain Thi Hoa Nguyen inadvertently knocked the ball into the net.

Substitute Kate Gill hit the crossbar in the second half but that was the closest the Australians came until Gorry powered home a sweet 35-metre drive on 90 minutes.

"It was a tough game to play, we had a lot of possession and chances but our execution and creativity in the front third let us down, so there is some room for improvement," Australia coach Alen Stajcic said.

"But we are still happy because it was very tough to break a team down like that in monsoonal conditions."

Asian champions Australia will face either South Korea or China in Thursday's Asian Cup semi-final, as the Matildas seek to defend the continental crown they won in 2010. AAP


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