2022 National Youth Championships Day Three Wrap: Semi-final places decided after late drama

Semi-finalists have been locked in following an exciting day of football at the 2022 National Youth Championships on Wednesday.

The tournament kicked off in Coffs Harbour on Monday with more than 350 of the best female under-14s and 16s players from across Australia taking part.

Another cool day greeted the players at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium though the predicted rain held off for most of the day.

In the under-14s tournament, NSW Metro finished top of group A with a 100 per cent record after beating South Australia 2-0 thanks to goals from Talia Younis and Amelia Cassar.

Queensland finished runners-up following their 2-0 victory over Northern NSW, with Lily Punch and Mackenna Magill on the scoresheet.

Victoria also qualified for the semi-finals from group A despite their 1-0 defeat to South Australia, with Kimi Van Rensburg scoring the only goal.

Capital Football will join NSW Metro, Queensland and Victoria in the under-14s semi-finals after finishing on top of group B.

Ahmed Ugool’s side went into their final match against Northern Territory knowing they needed to win by at least two goals to climb above NSW Country and Western Australia.

The team responded with a 5-1 victory with goals from Sophia Dobbie, Tehya Aspland, Madison Cachia and a double from Bonnie Young.

In the under-16s tournament, South Australia Red produced the upset of the day with a 1-0 victory over NSW Metro.

A win for NSW Metro would have seen them top group A. But Sian Dewey’s stunning second half winner saw South Australia Red secure their first win of the tournament and keep NSW Metro in third place.

Queensland Maroon finished top of group A following their goalless draw with NSW Metro, while Victoria Blue finished runners-up after securing 2-2 and 0-0 draws with Northern NSW and Capital Football respectively.

NSW Country also advanced to the semi-finals with a last gasp 1-0 victory over Queensland White thanks to Lillian Skelly’s late winner.

Play continues tomorrow with day four action, with the tournament to conclude on Friday.

Day four of the tournament has been scheduled to be played on the synthetic pitches at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium complex. This is due to the heavy rain expected to hit Coffs Harbour on Wednesday night and Thursday, with up to 90 millimetres of rain predicted.

Championship Manager Ramsey Vane-Wood said player safety and completion of the tournament were priorities.

“After consultation between Football Australia, Northern NSW Football and Coffs Harbour City Council and to ensure team preparation is minimally impacted, we have determined the safest decision is to schedule day four matches tomorrow across synthetic fields one and two,” Vane-Wood said.

“Additionally with the forecast of thunderstorms tomorrow it has been decided that the semi-finals are to be scheduled at the earliest possible timeslot as a priority.

“We acknowledge that this is not an ideal scenario. But the safety of players and ensuring the tournament continues to progress is the highest priority. This also ensures we are taking every step within our control to give us the best possible chance to use the grassed pitches one and two for the grand finals on Friday.

A final decision will be made following a pitch inspection at 7.30am on Thursday.

In the under-14s semi-finals, NSW Metro will take on Victoria. While Queensland will face Capital Football.

In the under-16s semi-finals, Queensland Maroon will play NSW Metro. While Victoria Blue will meet NSW Country.

The tournament returned this year after two years away due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2022 National Youth Championships for Boys will be played next week.

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