Sunday, June 20

Late rally not enough as Australia beaten by Denmark


The Matildas’ Mary Fowler (right) and Denmark's Rikke Sevecke battle for possession in the Danes’ 3-2 win. Picture: Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP
The Matildas’ Mary Fowler (right) and Denmark’s Rikke Sevecke battle for possession in the Danes’ 3-2 win. Picture: Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP

The Matildas’ poor start under coach Tony Gustavsson has continued with a 3-2 loss to Denmark.

While the scoreline suggested it was a tight contest in Danish city of Horsens, the hosts led 3-0 after 25 minutes, with the Matildas not scoring until teenage substitute Mary Fowler netted her first goal for Australia with a superb 87th-minute strike.

A stoppage time header from veteran defender Clare Polkinghorne further narrowed the Danes’ lead but it proved too little, too late for the Australians, whose Olympic Games preparations suffered another blow in Emily van Egmond’s 100th appearance for the Matildas.

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Australia have now lost their three matches since the appointment of Gustavsson and have conceded 13 goals during the Swede’s tenure, including five each in heavy April losses to Germany and the Netherlands.

Tony Gustavsson has suffered a third successive loss as Matildas coach. Picture: Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP
Tony Gustavsson has suffered a third successive loss as Matildas coach. Picture: Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP

Defensives woes continued to haunt Australia in a 10-minute first-half period in which they conceded three goals.

The first game in the 15th minute when Matildas midfielder Tameka Yallop turned the ball into her own net after the Australians failed to properly deal with a Denmark free-kick.

The Danes doubled their lead in the 21st minute when Rikke Sevecke scored from close range after the Matildas failed to clear a corner from Nicoline Sorensen.

Denmark’s third goal came just four minutes later when Matildas goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold fumbled a Sorensen cross into her own net.

Earlier, star Matildas striker Sam Kerr thought she had scored in just the fourth minute but she was correctly ruled offside.

The Matildas continue their Tokyo Olympics build-up on Wednesday morning with a match against Sweden in Kalmar.

Sports reporter

Sydney

Marco Monteverde is a Brisbane-based sports reporter for NCA Newswire. He worked in a similar role for The Courier-Mail from 2007 to 2020. During a journalism career of more than 25 years, he has also worked fo… Read more

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