Australia Fight Back As Brazil Suffer First Group-stage Defeat In 24yrs
Australia battled back from 2-0 down to beat Brazil in an extraordinary five-goal thriller and inflict a first group-stage defeat on the South Americans in 24 years.
The Matildas suffered a surprise loss to Italy in their opening game and their campaign looked in serious trouble when they trailed to a Marta penalty and Cristiane’s fourth strike in two matches.
But the Matildas levelled through Caitlin Foord’s poked finish and Chloe Logarzo’s cross-shot either side of half-time, with Marta needing to be withdrawn with a knock at the interval, having earlier extended her record tally to 16 World Cup goals.
Defender Monica’s unfortunate own goal – which was eventually awarded by VAR, with an offside Sam Kerr controversially judged not to have been interfering – completed Australia’s remarkable comeback.
The Australians, who are ranked sixth in the world, are now level with Brazil and the Italians on three points in Group C, before Jamaica and Italy meet in their second match in Reims on Friday, in the most evenly poised group at the tournament.
Brazil, who beat Jamaica last time out through a memorable Cristiane hat-trick, had not lost a group stage match at the finals since 1995.
And the 2007 runners-up appeared to be in full control of Thursday’s thriller in Montpellier upon entering first-half stoppage time, before Foord’s close-range finish gave Australia hope.