Melbourne City duo Steph Catley and Lydia Williams each played a full 90 minutes as the Westfield Matildas began its Algarve Cup campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Sweden in their Group C opener overnight.
The Matildas, captained by City goalkeeper Williams, were in the ascendency for majority of the first half but were unable to penetrate a resolute Swedish defence, despite enjoying a few good chances to open the scoring.
Sweden captain Lotta Shelin broke the deadlock in the 60th minute, beating defender Elise Kellond-Knight before finishing at a tight angle as the European side, ranked eighth in the world, held on to claim all three points.
Defender Teigen Allen, recalled to the national team after a stellar debut season with City, was an unused substitute.
In the other group game, Holland edged China 1-0. Australia’s second game at Algarve Cup will be against Holland on Saturday morning (AEDT), before Alen Stajcic’s side take on China three days later.
Algarve Cup – Group C opener
Thursday 2 March 2017
Sweden 1 (Lotta Schlein 60’)
Venue: Estadio Municipal de Albufeira, Portugal