Matildas made to pay for sluggish start

The Westfield Matildas have gone down 2-1 to Austria in their international friendly at Stadion Villach Lind in Villach overnight.

The host nation caught the Australians on the hop with two goals early on to lead 2-0 at the break, before reigning Asian Women’s Player of the Year Katrina Gorry pegged one back in the 85th minute to set up a tense finish.

But despite the Westfield Matildas’ best efforts, and the positive impact of Kate Gill and Ashleigh Sykes off the bench, they could not manufacture an equaliser in what was the first international between the two nations.

“We started the game off sluggishly and slowly which was disappointing,” Matildas coach Alen Stajcic said in his reflection of the contest.

“Although we had a number of good chances in the second half, overall they were the better side and once they scored their two goals we couldn’t get back.”

On a more positive note, former Julie Dolan Medallist Tameka Butt played the last 20 minutes in her first game back from a lengthy lay off due to an ankle injury.

The hit out was yet another valuable learning experience for the squad in the lead up to June’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

The Matildas will round off their European tour with a match against Scotland in Falkirk on Thursday before returning home.

The games kicks off at 2:30pm local time (12:30am AEST, Friday April 10).