Jenna the star

THE crowd was right behind Australia but the player they were all dying to see was Jenna Tristram.

The game was all over at 6-0 when coach Tom Sermanni introduced her on the stroke of half time but that didn't stop the faithful releasing a tremendous roar when the one-time Boambee resident's name was announced over the public address.

"As long as the coach was happy, I'm happy," she said while receiving hugs and congratulations after the match.

"It was a good result and we needed as many goals as we could get to help us along."

Every eye followed the player with the blonde ponytail in the '27' shirt when Tristram stepped onto the field for the resumption of play.

Within seconds she was in the thick of the action, providing a right cross to the player she calls her 'favourite', Jo Peters.

As Peters hammered the ball at the forlorn figure of the Hong Kong goalie, only to see it ricochet back into the field, Tristram had almost helped create her first international score.

And when she narrowly missed with her own thunderbolt minutes later, the groans from the crowd might have been heard all the way to the Peoples Republic.

"That was nerves, I should have got that one," she said humbly.

There was even a moment of high farce that had Tristram falling foul of officialdom.

When the Hong Kong goalkeeper moved away from the net and ran heavily into the back of a teammate, leaving both sprawled on the ground, Tristram, who was every bit of five metres from the point of contact, was ticked off and penalised by the referee.

If the crowd had groaned in support at her earlier miss, it was nothing like the boos that erupted at this strangest of decisions.

"They just collided and blamed it on me," she laughed.

"Things like that happen in a game when everyone gets excited, but it's allright.

"I'm just happy to do my job."

If the reaction of the crowd at BCU International Stadium has any influence on her future, Tristram will be happily 'doing her job' for Australia for a long time to come.

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