Football: Emily Gielnik landed a two long range goals to lead the Matildas past the Netherlands at the Algarve Cup
THE Matildas have rebounded from their opening Algarve Cup football loss with a 3-2 victory over the Netherlands in Portugal.
Australia held off a late surge from the Dutch, who clawed back from three goals down to send Friday night’s (Saturday AEDT) contest down to the wire.
Two days after falling 1-0 to Sweden, the Matildas were in no mood for another capitulation and duly netted all their goals before the break.
Forward Emily Gielnik took control with a brace in the first 30 minutes via two near-identical set pieces, before defender Alanna Kennedy buried a towering header on the tick of halftime courtesy of a curling Steph Catley free-kick.
But the Dutch wouldn’t let the game go and striker Vivianne Miedema fired home on 75 minutes before Sherida Spitse buried a free-kick into the top corner with 11 minutes remaining.
Lydia Williams was beaten on those occasions but the Matildas goalkeeper pulled off a vintage clutch save to stop Lieke Martens equalising in injury-time.
The win lifts coach Alen Stajcic’s squad to three points, one behind Group C leaders Sweden, who were held to a goalless draw by the Matildas’ next opponent China.
In the invitational tournament’s unique format, the top-two teams from across the three groups advance directly to the final.
Australia, who were dealt the toughest group, currently sit three points off the pace of Canada (Group A) and Spain (Group B).
Originally published as Matildas win rights their Algarve Cup campaign