A first half wonder goal from veteran Lisa De Vanna and a 67th minute header from Sam Kerr has helped ensure a well-deserved 2-1 win for the Matildas over Brazil in front of a sellout 15,089 fans in Penrith.

A late goal from substitute Debinha ensured a tense final ten minutes to the match, but the Matildas held on to draw first blood in the two match series.

Brazil started the stronger of the two sides and almost grabbed an early lead when Rosana’s near post header glanced narrowly wide of Lydia Williams’ goal after just three minutes.

But it wasn’t long before the Matilda’s began to find some of the form that has made them such an imperious opponent in recent months. After 10 minutes a beautifully worked team effort should have been converted by the home side, with the final header from Caitlin Foord sailing wide of the post.

It was all one way traffic for the majority of the half as the Matildas remained camped in Brazil’s half with some fantastic pressing and intensity, but the lack of reward for their dominance appeared to frustrate Alen Stajcic’s side – especially when Alana Kennedy’s 38th minute header from point blank range flew agonisingly over the crossbar.

Thankfully the sell-out crowd didn’t have to wait long before Australia grabbed a deserved 42nd minute lead, and what a moment of brilliance it was from De Vanna that had the fans on their feet around Pepper Stadium.

De Vanna didn’t hesitate for a second to volley home Tameka Butt’s lobbed pass from 25 meters out – her first-time shot dipping comfortably into the net to ensure the Matildas went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

The Brazilians seemed far more up for the challenge in what was a very physical second half, with edge of the area efforts from both Andressinha and Cristiane both crashing off the posts.

Australia looked to have put the game out of sight in the 67th minute, with who else but Sam Kerr getting a well deserved goal. Kennedy’s whipped cross finding Kerr in the middle of the box, whose glancing header flew over an advancing Dani Neuhaus and into the net for a 2-0 lead.

Brazil pegged a goal back in the 79th minute though, when substitute Debinha latched onto a well weighted through ball to easily poke home past a helpless Williams.

Fortunately for the home faithful the Matilda’s were able to navigate a nervy final 10 minutes to hold on for a well-warranted win given their dominant display, giving them a 1-0 series lead before the deciding fixture in Newcastle on Tuesday.

 

Australia 2 (De Vanna 42’, Kerr 67’)
Brazil 1 (Debinha 79’)

Stadium: Pepper Stadium
Crowd: 15,089

Matildas 1. WILLIAMS Lydia (GK), 7. CATELY Steph, 8. KELLOND-KNIGHT Elise, 9. FOORD Caitlin, 10 VAN EGMOND Emily (C), 11. DE VANNA Lisa (16. RASO Hayley 71’), 13. BUTT Tameka (6. LOGARZO Chloe 76’), 14. KENNEDY Allana, 19. GORRY Katrina, 20. KERR Sam (22. YEOMAN-DALE Georgia 92’), 21 CARPENTER Ellie
Substitutes: 2. SIMON Gema, 3. COOPER Caitlin, 4. POLKINGHORNE Clare, 5. ALLEWAY Laura, 15. GIELNIK Emily, 18. ARNOLD Mackenzie

Brazil 2. FABIANA (9. DEBINHA 72’), 3. BENITES Bruna, 4. RAFAELLE, 6. ROSANA (22. SOARES Jucinara 71’), 7. ALVES Andressa (16. ZANERATTO Bia 72’), 8. DJENIFER, 10. MARTA, 11. CRISTIANE (C), 12. NEUHAUS Dani (GK), 15. SANTOS Leticia, 17. ANDRESSINHA (19. LUDMILA 90’)
Substitutes: 1. IZIDORO Leticia, 14. THAISA, 18. FRAN, 21. MONICA, 23. ZANOTTI Gabi

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