64 Matildas top rugged Brazil
A WONDER goal from Lisa De Vanna and a glancing Sam Kerr header delighted a sellout crowd as the Matildas defeated Brazil 2-1 in Penrith.
Just over a month after wiping the floor with their Rio Olympics conquerors 6-1 to win the Tournament of Nations, the world No.6 Matildas opened their two-match friendly series in absorbing fashion in front of the 15,089strong crowd yesterday.
Twenty three shots to six were the full-time stats of an affair Alen Stajcic’s side could claim on the balance of play.
Debinha’s second-half goal was a consolation for the visitors, but the South American heavyweights were unwilling to assume the role of victim in a physical encounter that was peppered with fouls.
Stajcic praised his squad for a crowd-pleasing display.
“Even though there were scrappy moments in the game, I still thought we deserved the win and showed some elements of the things that will help us get to where we want to get to,” Stajcic said.
Kerr was electric throughout, but it was De Vanna who drew first blood with a stunning, long-range volley just before the break.
Latching onto Tameka Butt’s flick pass, Australia’s alltime record scorer delivered with her left-foot volley.
The Brazilians returned with renewed fire and Andressinha’s venomous shot had Williams making a leaping save onto the post, before the keeper also tipped Cristiane’s strike onto the upright.
But Kerr kept probing and glanced a header into the net from Alanna Kennedy’s cross.
Brazilian coach Emily Lima lamented two errors..
“Compared to the last game at the Tournament of Nations we got more things right, but we made two mistakes against a very strong team that has been developing,” Lima said.
“In the second half we had more control and scored with a specific type of goal we are used to.”
Australia’s Sam Kerr celebrates her goal against Brazil yesterday. Picture: AAP