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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Live: Matildas take on Canada in second friendly in Sydney


After losing 1-0 to Canada on Saturday, the Matildas are seeking a more dominant and clinical performance when they face the Olympic gold medallists in the second and final friendly in Sydney. 

Despite creating more chances and tallying more shots over the 90+ minutes at Lang Park, an under-strength Australia was unable to find the back of the net.

But with a raucous home crowd expected to fill the new Sydney Football Stadium, the Matildas are hoping to shake off the rust and claim their first-ever win over Canada as pressure grows on head coach Tony Gustavsson to prove his side are on the right track.

Follow below for live updates.

Live updates

Audience comment

I feel like the Matildas are giving the ball away a tad, BUT they definitely seem to have more energy and tact.

– Natty

Audience comment

Gorry is literally playing that “Makelele” role really well. Solid start and really covering the fullbacks well.

2-0 still looking promising haha.

– Chipdaddy

By Samantha Lewis

I’ll Grant you that

BattleDinosaur, Charlotte Grant has also been a great attacking weapon tonight.

– Mark

Charlie has had one of the best games I’ve seen her play so far. She has accounted for both Leon and Prince at various points, has barely put a foot wrong, and is doing well to assess the right moments to get up the field herself and contribute to the attack.

That’s the big thing that both Ellie Carpenter and Steph Catley offer in those full-back roles: they’re actually some of Australia’s most creative attacking players by virtue of their massive engine and overlapping plays, which often result in them sending crosses into the box. They had two of the highest assist tallies during the Olympic qualifiers, for example.

So that’s what their understudies need to be able to replicate, if not match entirely. And Charlie Grant looks to be really growing into that in Carpenter’s absence, which is great to see.

By Samantha Lewis

Key Event

HT: Australia 1 – 0 Canada

One of the best halves we’ve seen from Australia in some time, that.

The goal by Mary Fowler in the third minute definitely helped settle the nerves, and they’ve looked largely in control of this game, both on and off the ball.

Starting Foord and Vine has been a masterstroke from Gustavsson; they’ve offered speed and flair and bravery in taking on players, and have made Kerr look far less isolated and burden-carrying than what she seemed in Brisbane on Saturday.

Canada have barely had a glimpse at goal, too. Charlie Grant and Aivi Luik have both been solid at the back, with the Canadians not offering much by way of high press or collective pressure when our defenders are on the ball.

Great start from Australia. What needs to happen from here? Should the team stick with who they’ve got out there, or is there someone who could come on and change the game?

By Samantha Lewis

Two minutes added on

Canada created a decent move a few minutes ago, but it came to little and the Matildas transitioned brilliantly via a long-ball to Kerr that won them a corner.

The corner was comfortably defended as both teams see out the rest of this half.

By Samantha Lewis

41′ Foord with a chance!

This is exactly what the Matildas have been missing with Foord’s absence.

She collects the ball on the left wing and cuts inside, takes a touch and fires… but the ball just skims wide of the near post.

The stadium screens show Tony Gustavsson kneeling on his haunches, with his hands pressed together in something resembling prayer. He needs this game to go well as much as anybody.

By Samantha Lewis

36′ Cortnee Vine almost scores!

She makes a brilliant diagonal run through the Canadian centre-backs and onto a long-ball that comes from some distant place in midfield.

She takes a touch and sees herself one-on-one with Sheridan, who comes out and tries to make herself big. Vine takes another touch and looks up, but it’s almost like she has too much time to think, so she ends up just poking the ball in a weird attempted-pass way instead of shooting with her in-step. Nerves getting the better of her decision-making, maybe.

She’s been excellent so far this half, though; hopefully that’s not the last time she’ll find herself in that position.

By Samantha Lewis

Key Event

36′ PENALTY SHOUT?

And it’s Foord again! She discombobulates her defender and zips into the box, only to be tripped from behind by the back-tracking Canadian.

She flops into the grass and the whole stadium roars. The referee waves it away. The replay shows a nick on the back of her heel, but VAR isn’t being used in this series. Tough luck.

By Samantha Lewis

34′ Caitlin Foord is looking lively

The Arsenal winger is back in her bright green boots and looking just as sharp on the field.

She makes a fleet-footed run across the top of the box, turning this way and that, and slots a beautiful pass between the defenders for Cortnee Vine.

Vine’s cross is lovely and curling in-field but Canada goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan gets a strong hand to palm it away from the danger area.

Great stuff from Australia.

By Samantha Lewis

30′ Canada win their first corner

Australia have done really well defensively to keep Canada at bay so far. They’ve not really had a clear sight of goal in the opening half hour. They win a corner off an awkward Clare Polkinghorne clearance but it comes to nothing.

Adrianna Leon, who scored the winner on Saturday and Nichelle Prince have swapped wings. Charlie Grant has done brilliantly so far to keep them both quiet, and is even getting up the field herself a bit more. That’s what we want from an Ellie Carpenter replacement!

By Samantha Lewis

Hail Mary

Fowler is the future.

– Natty

Mary Fowler definitely is the future of this Matildas team. Her composure on the ball, her 360-degree vision, her technique, her balance, her confidence. She’s the whole package, and deserved that goal in the third minute.

I think she’s still got room to grow though, particularly in how she picks up the ball and charges towards the box. She told me a few months ago she models her play off Kevin De Bruyne at Manchester City, where she’s recently signed. I can definitely see her fitting into that mould, but with a bit of Mary flare.

By Samantha Lewis

24′ Tameka Yallop is down

She had a bit of a tussle with Canadian defender Bianca St. George earlier and managed to nip the ball back, but she looks to have done something to her lower left leg.

She’s gingerly up and walking off the field as the two teams have a quick drink and team talk.

We don’t need any more injuries to defenders! I’ll be lacing up my boots and getting out there at this rate.

By Samantha Lewis

21′ Katrina Gorry is getting overwhelmed

As I wrote about after the Brisbane game, Katrina Gorry’s role in midfield is a bit of an odd one.

She’s being played as “quarterback” style number six, but given it’s not what she’s naturally inclined to do, she finds herself caught between pushing too far up to be part of the attack and sitting too deep in defence such that acres of space open up through the middle of the park.

Canada’s midfielders have pounced on her unfamiliarity in that six role so far in this half; they’ve pressed her in numbers and bundled her off the ball a bit too many times for my anxiety’s liking. She’s got the vision but maybe not the physicality needed for that kind of role. I think the jury is still out on that one.

By Samantha Lewis

18′ Cortnee Vine is busy

The youngster has been really lively in these opening 18 minutes. She’s got a bit more freedom than a usual rigid right winger; she’s popped up through the middle a few times after interchanging with Kerr, even almost getting onto the end of a Tameka Yallop cross a few minutes ago.

Her speed is so important here, not just in the traditional way but also in terms of interceptions and one-two combinations. Really looks to have justified her selection ahead of Gielnik so far.

By Samantha Lewis

13′ A few too many give-aways

There have been a couple stray passes in the opening 13 minutes: not massively, but just out of the reach of the intended player. Canada almost capitalised on one misplaced pass by Charlie Grant, with Sinclair picking up the loose ball and barrelling towards the top of the box, but the eventual shot takes a lucky flick under someone’s foot and rolls safely to Williams. Need to tidy up those nervy passes.

By Samantha Lewis

9′ Canada’s first attack

And it comes through speedy winger Nichelle Prince down the left, who takes on Charlie Grant and charges into the box, but her cross is easily collected by Lydia Williams at the front post.

Canada warming into this half now.

By Samantha Lewis

5′ Matildas starting confidently

Like the first game on Saturday, Australia have started this one really well.

They look sharp on the ball – Caitlin Foord made a nice little dribbling run earlier that shows she’s in good nick – and they’re pressing Canada in the right ways. The goal started with a good interception.

But Australia have a tendency to fade after a good start, so let’s see how this unfolds.

Audience comment

YEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

– Natty

By Samantha Lewis

Key Event

2′ GOAL AUSTRALIA!

THAT’S THE WAY TO START A GAME!

A poor clearance from Canada falls into the path of Sam Kerr who does a nice one-two with Cortnee Vine and squares back for an unmarked Mary Fowler right near the penalty spot.

She makes no mistake and buries it into the bottom corner.

(Getty Images)

1-0 Matildas!

By Samantha Lewis

Key Event

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