Matildas draw 2-2 with Netherlands in Spirited Comeback

A strong second half fight back has seen Australia draw 2-2 with the Netherlands in their opening match of the 2014 Cyprus Cup.

A slow start resulted in the Matildas jumped early by the Dutch before two second half goals from Katrina Gorry and Michelle Heyman in under 5 minutes brought them level.

In their first international of 2014, the Matildas started the encounter lethargically with the Netherlands controlling the proceedings early.  The Dutch finally capitalised on their possession in the 12th minute through Anna Miedema.

It took until the 30th minute for Australia to work their way into the match and just when they appeared to be finding some rhythm, the defence was again breached.

This time a set piece from a Netherlands corner was turned home by central defender Stefanie van der Gragt.

Down 2-0 at half time, Hesterine de Reus injected Gorry and Heyman, as well as defender Laura Alleway, into the match with almost immediate effect.  The Matildas started the second half much more positively and were soon rewarded.

As she did when they last met, Brisbane Roar and newly signed FC Kansas City midfielder Katrina Gorry pulled one back with a clinical finish after Stephanie Catley pushed forward to supply her in the 54th minute.

[More: Katrina Gorry headed to NWSL side FC Kansas City]

Four minutes later Canberra United spearhead Michelle Heyman had Australia quickly level when she fired home in the 59th minute from a Sam Kerr cross.

All square, the match settled into a tug of war for the final half hour with Australia having the best of the chances but unable to beat Sari Van Veenendaal in the dutch goal.

In the other Group B match, France and Scotland played out a 1-1 draw.

The Matildas next match is against World No. 5 France on Saturday, 8 March. Kick off is 2.30am AEDST.

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Australia          2 (Gorry 54’, Heyman 59’)
Netherlands    2 (Miedema 12’, Van der Gragt 33’)
Athlítiko Kentro Zenon Stadium
Kick Off: 12.30pm (local time) / 11.30pm (AEDST)

Matildas Starting XI: Brianna Davey (GK), Teigen Allen, Alanna Kennedy, Kim Carroll, Stephanie Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight, Tameka Butt, Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord, Emily Van Egmond, Kate Gill

Netherlands Starting XI: Sari van Veenendaal, Kika van Es, Stefanie van der Gragt, Mandy van den Berg, Siri Worm, Renée Slegers, Tessel Middag, Maayke Heuver, Manon Melis, Anna Miedema, Lieke Marten

Stats: Australia / Netherlands

Possession: 40% / 60%
Corners: 3/5
Free Kicks: 12/9
Shots On Target: 3/6
Shots Off Target: 3/3

MATCH SCHEDULE

Australia v France
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Kick Off: 2.30am (AEDST)

Australia v Scotland
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Kick Off: 2.30am (AEDST)

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