Matildas beat Brazil to bag hot start
THE Matildas have reinforced their supremacy over Brazil with a 3-1 win to open the defence of their Tournament of Nations crown with a bang.
Two first-half goals from corner kicks and a Samantha Kerr stunner booked Australia their fourth consecutive win over the South Americans.
Brazil had entered the match in Kansas City in form and determined for revenge, unbeaten in their past 12 outings since losing to the Matildas in Newcastle last September - a stretch that included nine straight victories in their Copa America Femenina campaign earlier this year.
But the Australians took the lead in just the ninth minute and never looked in doubt - although coach Alen Stajcic won't be happy with the way his side invited their opponents back into the contest late on.
Defender Poliana handed the Matildas a dream start with an own goal, inadvertently heading Elise Kellond-Knight's tantalising corner kick into the net.
Another Brazilian set-piece mix-up just before the break helped the Matildas double their advantage.
Goalkeeper Barbara made a poorly-timed leap in an attempt to collect another Kellond-Knight cross but missed it completely.
The ball fell to Daiane, who could only cushion it across the box where an unmarked Tameka Butt managed to nod it home.
Kerr increased the lead five minutes into the second half, finishing off a clinical counter-attack with a rasping shot into the roof of the net.
Brazil kept pushing and grabbed a consolation in the 79th minute with Debinha tucking away a cross from Marta to catch the Australian defence napping. Only a point-blank reaction save from Lydia Williams to deny Beatriz stopped Brazil from cutting the margin to one goal.
The finish aside, it was the perfect way for Australia to bounce back from their disappointment at the Women's Asian Cup, having lost the final 1-0 to Japan in April.
It's also an important psychological win over Brazil, should the two nations meet again at next year's Women's World Cup in France.
Stajcic handed an international debut to 15-year-old sensation Mary Fowler, who replaced Kerr in stoppage time.
The Matildas face the United States on Monday morning (AEST) before taking on Japan next Friday.
Westfield Matildas 3 (Poliana o.g 8', Butt 39', Kerr 49'), Brazil 1 (Debhina 79')