Aussie women equal record longest winning streak
20 September 2017
FOOTBALL: Seventeen years to the day since Brazil beat Australia 2-1 at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the Matildas have returned the favour in Newcastle with a 3-2 win.
And, oh how far they have come since then.
Apart from the fact Tuesday night's result marked the third-straight triumph over the South American powerhouse, it was also the Matildas' fifth successive victory - equalling their longest winning streak.
Marta and company were simply no match for red hot Sam Kerr and her fellow Matildas.
Australia's star striker stole the show with a double and further underlined her credentials for FIFA women's world player of the year.
The Perth native has been remarkably consistent - scoring seven times in the last four consecutive Matildas games to trail only Sarah Walsh for the longest-ever scoring run of five matches.
But the sheer skill of each of those goals has her being labelled as the female Tim Cahill.
Based on Tuesday night's header, such a comparison is justified.
Kerr's 38th-minute equaliser, off a superb Emily van Egmond ball, was a blend of brute power and just enough arc to render Brazil goalkeeper Daniele Neuhaus helpless.
Her second in the 66th, a neat swipe home to cap a classy one-two between Chloe Logarzo and van Egmond.
For all that, Brazil drew first blood when Marta skinned Ellie Carpenter on the right flank and crossed for Fabiana to finish at the back post.
From there it was all Australia as the visitors sat back and tried to protect their lead.
The best chance fell to Hayley Raso when Elise Kellond-Knight fed into the box, but the winger flashed her shot wide.
Less than five minutes later van Egmond and Kerr had combined and the Matildas had their reward.
The hosts may have taken a lead into the break when Katrina Gorry was slipped a through ball and rattled the upright, but the 16,829-strong crowd were made to wait less than two minutes after the restart.
Fed by Kerr, Gorry miskicked her strike into the path of newly introduced substitute Caitlin Foord, who used her first touch of the match to see it home.
As Kerr went in again for Australia, Brazil's defence fell to pieces and it was only for a dubious late penalty that the visitors got one back.
Amid a spiteful last 20 minutes, Carpenter was ruled to have floored Marta in the area and the five-time world player of the year converted from the spot.
The win came after Australia had downed Brazil 2-1 in Penrith on Saturday.