Westfield Matildas Algarve Cup 2017 recap

The Westfield Matildas began their breakthrough 2017 with an appearance at Portugal's Algarve Cup in March. 

As the Australians prepare to return to the tournament this year as they prepare for April's Asian Cup in Jordan, we look back at the team's journey in Portugal. 

It began in Group C with three tough games. The first against a familiar foe. 

Australia 0-1 Sweden

The Westfield Matildas kicked off their Algarve Cup with a 1-0 loss to Sweden in their opener.

Captained by inspirational keeper Lydia Williams, the Australians went to the break 0-0 despite a few good chances to open the scoring.

Swedish captain Lotta Schelin with the decisive goal on the hour mark was enough in an even contest in Albufeira.

Australia 3-2 Netherlands

The Westfield Matildas claimed a pulsating 3-2 win against the Dutch in their second match in the group. 

A first half brace from Emily Gielnik saw the Aussies assume control of the contest, with the forward taking advantage of the blustery conditions to score directly from a set piece on both occasions.

The Matildas added a third just before the break when defender Alanna Kennedy scored with a thumping header from a curling Steph Catley free-kick to be seemingly out of sight at half time.

However the Dutch used the wind to their advantage after the interval, netting two goals in four minutes to ensure a grandstand finish but the Aussies were able to hang on to secure a vital three points.

Australia 2-1 China PR

The Westfield Matildas secured a 2-1 comeback victory over China PR thanks to teenager Ellie Carpenter’s late winner.

The Aussie popped up in the six-yard box to head home from a corner with six minutes remaining.

It was the then-Wanderers player’s debut goal for Australia and came after China PR’s Wang Shanshan fired home the opener on 36 minutes.

Aussie sub Emily Gielnik’s smashed a fabulous equaliser just after the hour mark before Carpenter's debut goal helped secure Australia’s second victory of the tournament.

 

Emily Van Egmond
Emily Van Egmond on the burst against the Danes

Australia 1-1 Denmark

(Denmark win 4-1 on penalties)

Australia topped Group C and played the Danes who finished second in Group A in the three vs four playoff

Kyah Simon with the first half goal for Alen Stajcic's side before the classy Pernille Harder equalised in the second half for the Danish women. 

The result stayed at 1-1 with the game to be decided by penalties.

The Danes were too good, scoring all their penalties winning 4-1.  Elise Kellond Knight with Australia's only goal in the shootout. 

Spain won the tournament, defeating Canada 1-0 in the final.