The Westfield Matildas produced a spirited performance but fell to 3-0 defeat against the Netherlands in their final FIFA Women’s World Cup™ warm-up match.
Ante Milicic’s side had the better of the first half but Olympique Lyonnais striker Shanice van de Sanden’s header deep into stoppage time put the Dutch in front against the run of play in Eindhoven.
Vivianne Miedema got the Netherlands off to a flyer in the second half by adding an excellent finish on 49 minutes before Tameka Yallop almost forced Australia back into the game but was denied at close range.
Ellie Carpenter and Sam Kerr were also thwarted by fine saves from goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal as van de Sanden added her second and the European Champions made it four wins in a row in front of the 30,640 in attendance at Philips Stadion.
Following a fast-paced opening, a collision between Hayley Raso and Kika van Es saw the Dutchwomen carried off with a wrist injury, before the game’s first big chance fell to van de Sanden on 13 minutes but the 26-year-old could not direct her close-range header on target.
As the Westfield Matildas threatened, Raso turned Kerr’s delivery goalwards but could not trouble goalkeeper van Veenendaal and Chloe Logarzo steered Emily van Egmond’s pass a fraction wide of goal on 20 minutes.
Australia keeper Lydia Williams had to stretch down low to deny Miedema’s effort as the clock ticked past the half-hour, with the action switching from end-to-end as Raso stung the hands of van Veenendaal before the break.
The away side were beginning to take control when the Netherlands made the break-through. Sherida Spitse floated over a free-kick in first half stoppage time and van de Sanden made amends for her earlier miss by steering the ball past Williams.
Kerr had a goal chalked off for offside on the brink of half-time, but the Dutch came out firing in the second half when Jackie Groenen poked the ball to Miedema and the Arsenal striker added an excellent finish.
Clare Polkinghorne headed over from a corner as Australia responded before a beautiful free-flowing move found its way to Yallop on 59 minutes but van Veenendaal came to the rescue with a superb close-range block.
The Arsenal shot-stopper proved to be a thorn in the Westfield Matildas side when she parried Ellie Carpenter’s 72nd-minute strike around the post and, from the resulting corner, gathered Kerr’s header on the goal-line.
Westfield Matildas open their FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ campaign when they face Italy in Valenciennes on Sunday 9 June at 1.00pm local time (9.00pm AEST).
FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ – Group C – Australia Matches
Australia v Italy
Date: Sunday, 9 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
Kick-off: 9.00pm AEST (1.00pm local time, same day)
Australia v Brazil
Date: Friday, 14 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Kick-off: 2.00am AEST (6.00pm local time, Thursday 13 June)
Jamaica v Australia
Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
Kick-off: 5.00am AEST (9.00pm local time, Tuesday 18 June)
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