• Thomas Pombart

Matildas defence crumbles in draw with Brazil

A highly competitive two-game series concluded with the Matildas drawing 2-2 against Brazil at CommBank Stadium.


Claire Polkinghorne - who scored the opener in Saturday night’s 3-1 win - netted once again, making no mistake in rattling a strike off the crossbar and in to give the Matildas the lead.

Sam Kerr added a second for Australia in the 52nd minute, finishing off a well-worked move started by Clare Wheeler.

The Matildas celebrate Polkinghorne's opener, her second in the two-game series. (AFP)


Érika pulled one back for Brazil from a corner in the 63rd minute, before Débinha equalised by bundling in a dangerous cross from Tamires to make it 2-2.

 

Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson deployed a back four and midfield four that were consistently stifled when playing out from the back.


Australia played directly into the Brazilian press, which enabled the forwards of Martha and Debinha to create attacking opportunities and pin back the Australians deep into their half.


Tameka Yallop was substituted at halftime for Clare Wheeler, who added more spark to the Australian midfield, but that was not enough for the Matildas.


Marry Fowler was also a victim of not tracking back during the game and enabled her opposite number to create attacking opportunities in the final third.

Brazil's Kerolin (left) and Australia's Mary Fowler (right) contest for the ball. (AFP)


The pressure the Brazilian’s applied eventually made the Matildas defence crack, and the goals from Érika and Debinha were too simplistic from an Australian point of view.

The quick one-two punch from Brazil caused the game to open up immeasurably.


Both sides, particularly Brazil, had plenty of chances to give their respective sides a lead that both deserved.


For Australia, transitioning from defence to attack kept proving troublesome.


If the Matildas want to hunt down the success they deserve as a team, Gustavsson needs to tighten up the defence when the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup comes around.