Melbourne City captain Steph Catley assisted the match winning goal as the Westfield Matildas defeated the Netherlands 3-2 to register their first win of the Algarve Cup in Portugal overnight.
A first half brace to Emily Gielnik put the Matildas in firm control of the Group C encounter, with the forward taking advantage of blustery conditions to net from two well-constructed set pieces.
Catley, who assumed the captains armband against the Dutch, put the ball on a platter for Alana Kennedy to head home the third goal, whipping in an inch-perfect free-kick to put the match seemingly out of reach.
However the Dutch hit back after the interval, netting two goals in four minutes to set up a grandstand finish, but the Aussies – aided by some crucial late saves from City goalkeeper Lydia Williams – held on to secure an important three points.
Defender Teigen Allen, recalled to the national team after a standout debut season with City, was an unused substitute.
The result means the Matildas join Sweden on three points in Group C, with Alen Stacjic’s side set to face the Asian powerhouse China on Monday to decide their tournament fate.
Algarve Cup – Group C
Friday 3 March 2017
Australia 3 (Emily GIELNIK 16’ 31’, Alanna Kennedy 45’)
Netherlands 2 (Vivianne MIEDEMA 75’, Sherita SPITSE 79’)Venue: Vila Real De Santo Antonio Sports Complex