LIVE: Under-strength Matildas locked in tough match against Portugal
LIVE: After a chastening 7-0 capitulation at the hands of World No. 7 Spain last week, an understrength Matildas team faces another tough European test in Portugal on Wednesday morning (6am AEST).
With every England-based Australian player rested from this camp, Australia’s lack of squad depth was sorely exposed by a Spanish side that is primed and ready for next week’s European championships, and led by the world’s best player in Alexia Putellas
But Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson said the result was little surprise given his youthful side was missing superstars like Sam Kerr and a host of other veterans.
Now he’s rung two changes against a veteran Portugal side, bringing in Lydia Williams in goals for her 100th cap – and wearing the captain’s armband on the special occasion with Kerr absent.
Remy Siemsen leads the line on her sixth cap, the striker chasing a first international goal on an extremely windy day in Portugal.
Follow the action live!
“If you follow the women’s game for a long time now and see where Spain are at and what they have done the last two year’s with this international team and the success they have had,” Gustavsson said.
“You look at their scorelines and what they have done and then look at the team we are bringing. I’m actually surprised that people are surprised (by the outcome).
“Because that is where we are and we need to be okay with that and to see that and identify that and keep investing and believing and wanting to improve.”
‘Why this, why now?’ Matildas ‘melt’ in ‘harrowing’ SEVEN goal capitulation
And Gustavsson revealed he might be forced into some selection changes due to injuries.
“I don’t want to go into details on who is available or not … but we have a couple of question marks for tomorrow’s game,” Gustavsson said.
“I want to get updates from sports medicine and sports scientist teams tomorrow but we might be forced to make a couple of changes in the line-up based on player availability.”
Matildas v Portugal, Wednesday June 29 6am (AEST)
Venue: Estádio António Coimbra da Mota, Estoril
Follow the action in our live blog below. If you can’t see the blog, click here.