As it happened: Matildas held to a 1-1 draw with Portugal

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As it happened: Matildas held to a 1-1 draw with Portugal

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Thank you and goodbye

That’s a wrap from me. Thank you for tuning into the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age’s live coverage of the Matildas’ 1-1 draw with Portugal. Have a great day and stay tuned for all the wash-up and action from the day in sport.

Harper: ‘People are confused’

Analyst and commentator Andy Harper is another puzzled by Tony Gustavsson’s approach to these two friendlies, fielding youngsters against Spain and Portugal and resting some of Australia’s better players.

“People are confused and they wonder why certain things happen,” Harper said on Ten. “When to rest? When to play people and when to blood youngsters against a white-hot team like Spain? Whilst the caravan moves on, whilst we earned a draw against Portugal... that [7-0 loss against Spain] is going to sit for a while.”

‘Uncertain what the plan actually is’

Former Matildas Thea Slatyer remains unconvinced after the Matildas’ draw with Portugal, particularly with what it means for the team’s preparations for the 2023 World Cup. Under the guidance of Tony Gustavsson, the team has lacked cohesion and consistency of players

“Still uncertain to what the plan actually is,” she said on Network Ten. “Hopefully now we have a bit more consistency and less interchanging of the players.”

She echoes the thoughts of many who are yet to see a visible style of play, consistent tactics that have undermined performances sand results.

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Full-time: Portugal miss another chance to steal the lead

Portugal spurn another chance to snatch the lead with the last kick of the match as Encarnacao fired a shot straight into the arms of Lydia Williams with the whole goal to aim for.

It leaves the Matildas with a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw against Portugal. Australia will bemoan an offside in that goal but were perhaps more fortunate throughout that game. They should have had a player sent-off but were spared by a mistake of identity while Portugal missed about four clear chances to score.

It was a stark improvement from the 7-0 loss to Spain but was still a poor performance against a team ranked 18 places below.

Portugal hit the post

A minute after scoring, Encarnacao almost puts Portugal in front. A volley at the far post cannons off the near post after beating Lydia Williams in the Matildas’ goal.

A nervous finish for the Matildas.

Goal! Portugal draw level

Well you can’t say they didn’t deserve it. Portugal draw level with just four minutes remaining. A poor turnover in defence was punished with precision. Carolina Mendes’ cut back to Telma Encarnacao who made no mistake from close range, slotting into the corner of the net.

Replays showed a hint of offside that the VAR would have picked up if it was in use. C

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Portugal coming undone

Ibini’s goal against the run of play seems to have drained the energy of the Portuguese. The hosts were in complete control of the match for the first half and should have taken the lead with a flurry of good chances but their wastefulness was punished by the Matildas’ substitute.

Portugal’s hopes of an equaliser have become more hopeful than constructed with more long-range shots than anything crafted.

The Matildas have just six minutes plus injury time to hold on for a rare win in Europe.

Another look at Australia’s goal

Another look at Princess Ibini’s goal.

Ibini scores!

Substitute Princess Ibini has broken the deadlock completely against the run of play. A clever ball from Larissa Crummer put Emily Gielnik into space down the right flank and a perfectly weighted low cross found the run of Ibini at the far post, who made no mistake from close range.

A well-worked counter of attack and perhaps very cruel on the Portuguese.

73rd min: Australia leads 1-0.

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Australia riding their luck

The Matildas are lucky to have 11 on the field and not to have given away a penalty. Courtney Nevin fouled Tatiana Pinto right on the edge of the area but the referee correctly spotted the contact was narrowly outside the box. What the referee missed, however, was that it was Nevin who made the contact. Nevin is already on a yellow card and the referee incorrectly blamed Charlotte Grant for the foul and booked the wrong person.

Fortunately for Australia, the free-kick was fired well away from goal.

66th min: 0-0

Courtney Nevin lucky to remain on the field.

Courtney Nevin lucky to remain on the field. Credit:Getty

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