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Wenger faces defensive dilemma

By ESPN Staff

Matildas beat France 2-0 in friendly

Australia's women's soccer team have finished their European tour with a 2-0 win over a highly-fancied French side in Angers, France on Saturday.

Two stunning strikes from Brisbane Roar duo Tameka Butt and Katrina Gorry secured the Matildas' victory over the world No.6 team in the friendly match at Stade Jean-Bouin.

Despite being ranked only four places behind France, Australia were considered heavy outsiders against a team that had finished fourth at the last FIFA Women's World Cup and Olympics.

But while the French appeared strong in the opening stages the Matildas' resolute defence soon nullified them.

Australia took the lead in the 35th minute through Butt who hit a brilliant volley into the top right corner of the net.

Gorry and Butt also proved crucial in defence, both clearing the ball off the line within moments of each other as the French ramped up their attack in the second half.

France were given a perfect opportunity to equalise just shy of the hour mark when they were awarded a spot-kick.

However, a brilliant diving save from goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who was brought on by Matildas coach Hesterine de Reus as a second-half substitute for Brianna Davey, denied France's Camille Abily.

Against the run of play, Australia doubled their advantage in the 70th minute with a powerful right-footed strike from Gorry.

After disappointing losses to the Netherlands (3-1) and Dutch club Ado den Haag (1-0) the Matildas managed to end the tour on a winning note.


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