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Matildas stumble to 5-2 loss in first pre-Olympics hit out

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10th April, 2021
15

World No. 2 Germany handed the Matildas a 5-2 defeat in a friendly match at Brita-Arena in Wiesbaden in the early hours of Sunday morning (AEST).

The clash was the national women’s team’s first hit out in 295 days, as well as new coach Tony Gustavsson’s first game in charge.

An Australian outfit that lacked cohesion struggled to maintain possession and were unable to create many clear-cut chances despite netting twice.

In the tenth minute, after the Matildas failed to deal with a quick attacking move by the Germans, Sjoeke Nusken punished the less than impressive defending to open the scoring.

The Matildas also struggled to make a good start after coming out of the sheds at halftime, conceding just a couple of minutes into the second half when Kathrin Hendrich, who was left all on her lonesome at the back post, got on the end of a pinpoint cross from Sara Dabritz.

Eighteen-year-old debutant Jule Brand then got on the scoresheet for the Germans’ third and notched an assist on Laura Freigang’s goal that made it four-nil.

Linda Dallmann rounded out the scoring for the home side with a nice shot.

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Emily Gielnik took advantage of a mix-up at the back by Germany with an 82nd minute strike and put away a free header in injury time but her brace was mere consolation for Australia.

Australia was missing key players including Stephanie Catley and Ellie Carpenter.

Those plying their trade in the W-League were not eligible for selection due to COVID protocols, although most regular Matildas departed the Australian domestic league before the start of the current season.

The Fox Sports feed – a retransmission of the host broadcast – did not display a score graphic until late into the first half. An in-house graphic was added to the top-left corner of the screen by the 38th minute.

Let’s hope the broadcast of this afternoon’s Big Blue W-League grand final between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, which will also be screened live by public broadcaster ABC, doesn’t suffer from any such glitches.

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Gustavsson’s side’s next opportunity to prepare for this year’s Olympic Games comes against the Dutch side in the early hours of Wednesday morning (AEST) at Goffertstadion in Nijmegen, Netherlands.