A 10-minute defensive horrorshow saw the Matildas slump to their third consecutive defeat in a troubled start to life under new manager Tony Gustavsson.
Teen sensation Mary Fowler blasted her first goal for the green and gold in the final minutes before a Clare Polkinghorne header in stoppage time, but it wasn’t enough in a 3-2 loss to Denmark.
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A promising start for the Matildas quickly turned to dismay when two own goals in 10 minutes saw the Matildas down 3-0 by the 25-minute mark.
Tameka Yallop opened the scoring in unfortunate fashion after a quarter of an hour, turning the ball into her own net with an attempted clearance following a Denmark corner.
Denmark’s Rikke Sevecke made it two in quick succession on another corner minutes later, which replays showed could have been judged offside.
Then Matildas keeper Mackenzie Arnold contrived to fumble an inoffensive cross into her own net, making it three goals in the space of 10 heartbreaking minutes.
Bizarrely, the Danish side had less shots on targets than goals by the half-time whistle, with the Matildas reeling after another disappointing defensive display.
It comes after conceding five goals apiece in two heavy defeats to Germany and Netherlands in April, but this was still a better performance despite defensive frailties on set pieces.
Four regular starters in Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley, Tameka Yallop, and Kyah Simon all returned to bolster the starting XI, while veteran Emily van Egmond donned the captain’s armband in her 100th appearance – just the eighth woman to reach the milestone.
Sam Kerr was ruled offside when she found the back of the net inside five minutes, and was twice denied smartly by Denmark keeper Lene Christensen.
Meanwhile another pair of youngsters in Kyra Cooney-Cross and Courtney Nevin made their debuts, coming on at halftime.
The Matildas next face Gustavsson’s native Sweden (Wednesday morning AEST) in their final preparation game ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, in which they have been drawn a brutal group including USA, Sweden, and New Zealand.
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