Sport Football Matildas worries after 3-0 World Cup warm-up loss

Matildas worries after 3-0 World Cup warm-up loss

Australia's Sam Kerr is fouled by Stefanie van der Gragt of Netherlands. Photo: Getty
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The Matildas will enter the World Cup on their worst losing run in three years after a 3-0 thrashing to the Netherlands.

Australia showed spark but lacked the clinical finishing of the Dutch in Eindhoven earlier on Sunday morning, in front of a national record crowd for a women’s football match.

A brace from best afield livewire Shanice van de Sanden and Vivianne Miedema’s sharp effort sent the Netherlands to the World Cup on a high and condemned the Matildas to a confidence-sapping defeat.

The result follows a 5-3 loss to world champions USA in April.

Not since 2016, when Australia lost to Brazil and Canada in Brazil for the Olympics, has the world No.6 side lost back to back matches.

At the Philips Stadion, Ante Milicic saw plenty of bright positioning and ball movement from his team, and a decided lack of composure at the back.

Australia shaded the first half but received no reward.

The best chances fell to Hayley Raso, who put two efforts – from a Sam Kerr cross and Tameka Yallop’s cutback – straight at the Dutch goalkeeper.

The Netherlands were finding joy out wide, where former world player of the year Elise Martens and van de Sanden were beating full-backs Steph Catley and Ellie Carpenter regularly.

Van de Sanden was troubled more often by the offside flag than the Matildas defence, and broke through in first-half injury time.

Matildas’ Caitlyn Foord gets a kick forward.

The 26-year-old peeled off Emily van Egmond at the back post to head home Sherida Spitse’s free kick.

Five minutes after the break, Miedema turned Carpenter before firing past Lydia Williams.

Australia carved out chances to get back in the game.

Both Raso and Yallop were through on goal only to botch efforts, before van de Sanden thundered a volley to give the match an emphatic scoreline.

Given Milicic fielded close to his best team, without injured midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight, the Australia boss plainly has some thinking to do before the World Cup opener with Italy next Sunday.

Hayley Raso of Australia moves ahead of Dominique Bloodworth of Holland.