Footy Times

FIFA Women’s World Cup: Matildas mount stunning comeback to beat Brazil 3-2

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Australia produced one of the great comebacks to stun Brazil and revive their hopes. In a game crammed full of stats and milestone achievements, the Matildas became just the second team at this competition to win having been two goals down – after Marta established herself as the first player to score in five separate editions.

Brazil took an early lead with a penalty awarded off a rough defensive tackle by Elise Kellond-Knight.

It was a controversial call, especially as Tamika Yallop had gone down in the box after a foul by Thaisa minutes before, but it was voided due to a handball in the build-up.

Central defender Alanna Kennedy was adamant there had been a handball before this foul, too, but the VAR disagreed.

Superstar Marta stepped up and buried the ball past goalkeeper Lydia Williams with ease.

The first deadly attack from open play came from a nutmeg by Tamires through the legs of Emily Gielnik, finding Debinha with plenty of space down the left flank.

A cross from her reached Cristiane in front of the goal mouth, who defied Stephanie Cately’s defence to head it home.

At this point, the scoreboard did not accurately reflect the competitiveness between the two sides.

As predicted, the game was all about the attackers. No sooner had the Brazilians given Williams a scare, the Matildas were giving Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara the same treatment.

The comeback began soon after as the Matildas launched wave after wave of attack.

It paid off right before half-time as a messy scuffle in front of the goal saw Caitlin Foord slide the ball past the keeper.

On the climb, the Matildas kept up the pressure into the second half.

A long ball from Chloe Logarzo meant for Sam Kerr passed just out of her reach, and Barbara’s, to equalise for Australia.

The final goal came after a nail-biting VAR check.

An own goal by Monica was questioned after Kerr had come from offside to pressure the ball alongside Sousa.

But, without a touch from Kerr officially interfering with Monica, the offside was deemed inconsequential and the goal was counted.

Captain Kerr was all smiles when the full-time whistle was blown, telling her team’s critics to “suck on that one”.

Australia is only the second team in Women’s World Cup history to win a match from being at least two goals behind, after Sweden beat Germany 3-2 in 1995.

Brazil and Australia have three points each in Group C, as do Italy, who take on Jamaica tonight after beating the Matildas in their opening match.

“Tonight is one of the finest Australian performances I’ve seen,” Matildas coach Ante Milicic said.

“The players deserve all the rewards they were given tonight. I’m really delighted for them.

“They never stopped believing, and the coaching staff never stopped believing.

“We kept on believing in our style and in our football and it’s an Australian performance to be proud of.”

China PR, meanwhile, boosted their prospects by edging South Africa in Paris – a result that also confirmed France and Germany’s places in the Round of 16.

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