Denmark defeat Westfield Matildas

Courtney Nevin

Australia’s Tokyo preparations continued with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Denmark.

A strong finish from the Westfield Matildas saw the team score twice in the final five minutes. However, 10 minutes of mayhem in the first half were enough for the Danes to take victory.

Emily van Egmond captained the side in her 100th appearance for the national team. She became just the eighth woman to reach the milestone.

It was a different-looking line up from the April friendlies for the Westfield Matildas who welcomed back the likes of Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley, Tameka Yallop, and Kyah Simon to the starting XI. 

The visitors started the brighter of the two sides, creating multiple chances.  In the fourth minute, Sam Kerr looked to have found the back of the net following a ball in from the returning Catley but was ruled offside.

Australia continued to attack, particularly down the right-hand flank, but it was the home side who would draw first blood.

A set piece in the 15th minute was not cleared properly and Tameka Yallop’s attempted clearance found the goal instead.

Denmark didn’t have to wait long to double its advantage, scoring again from a set piece opportunity.

A corner floated in to the back post pinged around the six yard box before eventually being turned in by Rikke Sevecke who smashed it into the roof of the net.

Denmark would profit from another Australian error with Mackenzie Arnold unable to claim a speculative cross into the box, with the ball crossing the line.

The second half saw a round of changes with Kyra Cooney-Cross and Courtney Nevin making their Westfield Matildas debuts; Mary Fowler also entered the fray.

Denmark created more chances in the second half with captain Pernille Harder looking the most dangerous.

The Westfield Matildas continued to probe the defence and eventually got reward for effort through Fowler.

Emily Gielnik’s ball across the edge of the box after a run down the right wing was not dealt with by Denmark. The ball fell to Fowler fortuitously but she made no mistake with her rising shot to score her first ever international goal.

With a spring in their steps, Australia continued to press. Clare Polkinghorne was able to add a second goal in injury time, ghosting in at the far post and heading one home to bring the deficit back to one.  

Attention now turns to the clash against Sweden on Wednesday morning Australian time.