A strong first half performance set Australia up for a 5-2 win over Italy in the 7th place final of the Cyprus Cup at the Tasos Marko Stadium, Paralimni.

Sam Kerr and an Emily Van Egmond brace saw the Matildas take control of the match in the first half. While second half goals from Katrina Gorry and Hayley Raso saw Australia hold Italy at bay, despite a late second half fightback, to claim 7th place.

Unlike their previous matches in the Cyprus Cup, Australia got off to fast start with the midfield trio of Elise Kellond-Knight, Katrina Gorry and Leena Khamis controlling the centre.

It wasn't long before the Matildas were peppering the Italian goal but it took until the 17th minute for them to breach the Italian defence.  Forward Sam Kerr finished off a swift move with the 20 year old netting her second goal of the tournament.

Just minutes later Australia doubled their lead when Emily Van Egmond, in the unfamiliar wide role, made the most of her opportunity in the 22nd minute.

On top in general play and the scoreboard, the Matildas looked to press their advantage.  Once again they found a way through the Italian defence with Van Egmond scoring her second in the 38th minute and Australia headed into the break leading 3-0.

On the restart the Italians came out with more resolve putting the Lydia Williams lead defence under pressure early.  Withstanding the onslaught, the Matildas countered and soon found the back of the net for the fourth time through midfield dynamo Katrina Gorry.

Hayley Raso then compounded the misery in the 79th minute when the substitute outpaced the Italian defence to add a fifth and score her first international goal for the senior team.

The Italians rallied late to find the back of the net twice in the 85th and 91st minute but the Matildas held on to take 7th place in the tournament.

The majority of the squad now returns to Australia for a set of camps in April and two match series against Brazil.

Australia   5 (Kerr 17’, Van Egmond 22’/38’, Gorry 56', Raso 79')

Italy          2

Venue: Tasos Marko,Paralimni

Kick Off: 2.00pm (local time) / 11.oopm (AEDST)

Matildas Starting XI: Lydia Williams (GK), Teigen Allen, Alanna Kennedy, Laura Alleway, Stephanie Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight, Leena Khamis, Katrina Gorry, Sam Kerr, Emily Van Egmond, Michelle Heyman

Stats: Australia / Italy

Possession: 50% / 50%

Corner: 6/5

Free Kicks: 14/17

Shots On Target: 12/5

Shots Off Target: 2/7