Teigen Allen focused on Asian Cup

She only turned 20 in February but Faulconbridge’s Teigen Allen has already become one of the most experienced players in the Australian women’s football team. 

But it wasn’t until her 31st game for the Matildas on April 6 that the talented right-side defender got to test herself against the might of sixth-ranked Brazil for the first time.

The match was played in front of 2583 fans in driving rain and broadcast live on ABC1 from the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre in Brisbane. The 11th ranked Matilda’s kept a clean sheet against Brazil until the 68th minute when the Samba Queens’ forward Debora Oliveira slotted a low finish past goalkeeper Brianna Davey and almost equalised in injury time when Michelle Heyman pushed a shot just wide of goal.

The Aussies levelled the two-match series three days later at the same venue on a dry pitch by winning an entertaining clash 2-1 — the match-winning goal by Heyman coming in the 81st minute.

“Playing Brazil we knew we had to be aggressive from the start, so we went all out and I think we did very well, both in defence and attack,” Allen said.

“Both teams created chances and the two games were pretty even right until the end — they really could have gone either way.

“We put in a great effort to keep them out and it was good to keep them scoreless in the first half of both games.”

Allen said the tied series and the way the team played serves as a great confidence booster for the squad as it prepares for the 2014 Asian Cup in Vietnam, which starts on May 14.

The Asian Cup also serves as a qualifying mechanism for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

“Playing against Brazil last week, one of the top teams in the world, was a great experience for the team but also personally.

“I didn’t find the speed of the game particularly different, but it was a bit harder to play in the wet weather we had in game one with the ball going at different speeds and getting awkward bounces at times.

“We adjusted okay and you train and learn to deal with those types of conditions.

“This series was very good for our preparation, particularly to have won that second game.

“We are going to be playing some of the best teams in the world in the Asian Cup too, like Japan (3rd) and North Korea (9th).”

Allen was part of the Matilda’s squad which won the 2010 Asian Cup, but was only 16 then and just happy to get some game time.

Although this time Allen has more experience, there will still be plenty of nerves.

“Our aim is to defend our title,” she said.

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