Women's Team

Kennedy features in exciting Australia stalemate

Kennedy features in exciting Australia stalemate
Alanna Kennedy played the full 90 minutes as Australia were held to a thrilling 2-2 draw with Brazil in Parramatta.

Just four days after claiming her 100th international cap in the Matildas’ 3-1 victory over the South Americans, the two sides were in action once again to round off a mini-series of international friendlies.

Tony Gustavsson’s side were quickest out of the blocks and were rewarded just after the ten-minute mark when Clare Polkinghorne volleyed home the opener.

The visitors had initially cleared an inviting corner from the left but, with the ball pumped back into the area, a miscued clearance from Erika presented the defender with the chance to volley home.

That setback shook Brazil into action, and they laid siege to the Matildas’ goal for the majority of the first half, with Adriana the width of a post away from grabbing the equaliser on 20 minutes.

The hosts were also particularly thankful to West Ham’s Tameka Yallop for a last-ditch challenge on Tamires as the defender looked destined to pull the trigger inside the area.

Kennedy and co. rallied after the break and came close to doubling the lead when Mary Fowler struck the upright before the 50-minute mark after a jinking run into the Brazil box.

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But the Matildas didn’t have to wait long for that two-goal cushion, as Sam Kerr combined with Ellie Carpenter to find the bottom corner of Leticia’s net with a pinpoint finish across goal before the hour.

A breathless encounter had a sting in the tale for the hosts though, with Erika making up for her mistake in the build-up to Australia’s opener by halving the deficit in the 64th minute with an unchallenged header from a corner.

And the South Americans turned the game on its head just seven minutes later, as Debinha tapped home on the rebound after Tamires’ speculative cross was tipped into her path by Arsenal’s Lydia Williams.

But while surrendering a two-goal lead will have frustrated the hosts, they were thankful to substitute Courtney Nevin for some desperate defending to deny six-time World Player of the Year Marta from grabbing a dramatic late winner.

Nonetheless, a thrilling series with Brazil represents a memorable international break for City defender Kennedy, who returns to Manchester having reached an international century!

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