Australia Van Egmond inspires Matildas win
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Hitting the open road in search of adventure sounds undeniably romantic, but for many women living the solo van life, it's more about economic necessity than escapism.The 50-year-old said she and her husband had been living — on and off — in their van for a year, but his decision to return to South Africa for work forced her to travel alone.
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson was able to cap his first game on Australian soil with a 3-1 win over Brazil thanks to a second-half cameo from Emily van Egmond.
Van Egmond scored a goal on her return to Matildas colours, also setting up Mary Fowler after Clare Polkinghorne gave the home side the lead just before halftime.
It was an advantage they held throughout the game with the signs promising, in attack at least, from the very start.
Australia had their first chance 10 minutes in when a flick behind the Brazilian defence fell into the path of Tameka Yallop on the edge of the box.
Matildas getting into swing of things
Tony Gustavsson says the Matildas might be some way off the pace over the coming months but is adamant it's all part of the roadmap to a World Cup win in 2023.Drawing a circle within a circle, Gustavsson said the Matildas needed to be somewhere in the middle and manage internal and external expectations if they were to become world champions.
Yallop squandered the chance and ended up colliding with goalkeeper Leticia who was cleared to play after receiving attention from medical staff.
While Australia continued to win the ball high up the field, their problems again showed in defence.
Solidity at the back has been an issue under Gustavsson and whenever Australia lost possession space opened up for the visitors.
Giovanna Quieroz looked to latch onto one through ball and, were it not for a cynical foul from Alanna Kennedy, the Brazilians could well have been away.
Kennedy, who was handed the captain's armband in her 100th game for the Matildas, was shown a yellow card as Brazil continued to probe Australia's defence.
The home side were able to wrestle back control of the first half, with the pressure eventually tolling for Brazil in the 38th minute.
Brazil to bring out best in Matildas
The Matildas face Brazil on Saturday night hoping the arrival of a familiar foe can spark them into form under Tony Gustavsson.The Swede's start to life at the helm has been somewhat underwhelming with wins over New Zealand and Great Britain at the Olympics the only bright spots thus far.
A free kick just outside the penalty box was the platform Australia needed with an inch-perfect delivery from Steph Catley finding Sam Kerr.
A perfect Kerr header cushioned the ball into the path of Polkinghorne who drove home from close range.
After the break, Australia briefly switched off with Adriana able to test Lydia Williams.
Van Egmond had a similar moment at the other end, before floating in a well-weighted cross for Fowler to head in Australia's second in the 66th minute.
No sooner had the Australian celebrations for Fowler's goal stopped, though, and it was the turn of a raucous section of Brazil fans to cheer.
Kennedy stumbled in the wet as she attempted to play out from the back, with Adriana the beneficiary.
With a sharp turn, the Brazilian homed in on goal and made no mistake this time to send the ball flying past Williams.
Coach Pia Sundhage dispatched the experienced duo of Marta and Debinha with 20 minutes remaining, but it was van Egmond who proved the difference.
Catley turned the ball back from the byline in the 80th minute with van Egmond able to drive home from 12 yards out to put the result beyond doubt.
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