Phot credit: Official Matildas Twitter Account (@TheMatildas)

 

The Matildas bounced back from the weekend’s disappointment against Italy, defeating Brazil 3-2 after an unforgettable match in Montpellier.

Brazil had raced into a two goal lead with goals from Marta and Cristiane, before Australia levelled the score through Caitlin Foord and Chloe Logarzo. The winning goal came in the 69th minute, when Brazilian defender Mônica was ruled to have scored an own goal after a VAR review.

Both teams looked to push the tempo from the kickoff, but there were few clear cut chances early on.

In the 20th minute, the first big moment came as Thaisa fouled Tameka Yallop inside the area. A penalty was initially awarded, however it went to VAR for review, and play was brought back for a Yallop handball in the buildup.

Six minutes later, Brazil were awarded a spot kick of their own when Leticia Santos was brought down by Elise Kellond-Knight. This call stood upon review and Marta made no mistake, sending Lydia Williams the wrong way to put the Canarinhas 1-0 up.

Brazil stayed compact in defence, forcing the Matildas out wide. Plenty of crosses were played into the middle, but the Brazilian defence looked comfortable, except for one Kerr chance which was saved by Bárbara.

The Canarinhas then doubled their lead in the 38th minute. Tamires started the move with a lovely nutmeg, and played the ball down the flank. Debinha’s cross was perfect, allowing Cristiane to outjump Alanna Kennedy and score her fourth goal of the tournament.

Australia went straight at the Brazilians following the second goal, and were rewarded for their persistence with a goal in first half stoppage time. Chloe Logarzo did brilliantly to get a touch to Yallop’s left wing cross, and Caitlin Foord was on hand to finish from close range and halve the deficit.

The intensity continued after the break, and both teams had half chances. The Matildas then equalised following a stroke of good fortune just before the hour mark. Logarzo was in space, and played a diagonal ball into the area which evaded everybody, nestling in the back of the net.

Brazil would have a good spell as Debinha continued to look threatening, before the game’s most controversial moment came midway through the second half. Kerr appeared to be in an offside position when Mônica headed Emily van Egmond’s long pass into her own goal. However, upon review, Kerr was deemed to not be interfering with play. The goal stood, putting Australia 3-2 up.

Roles were now reversed, as Brazil were forced to push forward and Australia were able to sit back. Brazil head coach Vadão responded by bringing on Beatriz for Cristiane, however she was unable to make much of an impact against the packed Matildas defence.

When Australia did have possession, they were able to take the sting out of the game by holding the ball and running down the clock. The Canarinhas seemed frustrated, inadvertently aiding Australia’s cause by giving away some cheap free kicks.

There was one last piece of drama when Beatriz headed wide in stoppage time. VAR briefly reviewed the play for an incident involving Steph Catley and Andressa Alves, but the only result was a goal kick to Australia.

The teams are now level on points heading into Group C’s final set of games, which will be played on Tuesday (local time). Australia meet Jamaica in Grenoble, and Brazil will take on Italy in Valenciennes.

 

Australia 3 (Foord 45+1’, Logarzo 58’, Mônica og 66’)

Brazil 2 (Marta 27’ Cristiane 38’)