Australia drew 2 - 2 with world no. 2 Germany in their second match of the Rio 2016 Olympics at Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.

First half goals from Samantha Kerr and Caitlin Foord were cancelled out by goals to Sara Däbritz and Saskia Bartuziack on either side of half time to give Germany a come from behind point.

Despite the comeback, it was a much improved performance from the Australians who showed more attacking prowess and came out fearless against the Germans, with the first game nerves out of the way.

Alen Stajcic made some noticeable changes to the side, with the inclusion of Steph Catley, Kyah Simon and Lisa De Vanna into the starting lineup, forcing both Emily van Egmond and Michelle Heyman to the bench.

The changes allowed Foord to be utilized up forward for the Australians, where she combined with Kerr to produce recurring attacking sequences.

Lydia Williams once again produced world class saves for the Australians, and was a standout in the match. Gorry was on the attack early and looked dangerous all game, also contributing several valuable sliding touches to help clear the ball in the defensive third for Australia.

Kerr was back to her blistering best as she gave the Australians the lead in the 6th minute. Caitlin Foord surged forward and fed Kerr into the box with a beautifully timed ball, which Kerr powered past German keeper Almuth Schult with a left foot winner. The goal did not deter the attack of the Germans however, who continued to rise in the first half, producing more attacking opportunities than the Australians up front.

Alexandra Popp had two early headers go wide, managing to get into some dangerous positions. Marozsan had an outside shot in the 11th minute that forced a quality save from Williams, as the Germans outshot Australia 4-2 in the opening 15 minutes.

Catley appeared to have her injury woes behind her as she drove down the right flank in the 14th minute to gain the Australians a corner.

Elise Kellond-Knight set up Laura Alleway for an outside shot that missed the right post by inches. Lisa De Vanna caused some havoc for the Germans with her intense pressure and speed up front. Up the other end, Alleway covered a mishap by Kennedy that gave the Germans a brief passage to goal.

An error from Kellond-Knight saw the Europeans advancing once again, this time a back post defensive effort by Lisa de Vanna was enough to clear the air. Alleway appeared hurt after a challenge with Popp in the 25th minute, but the central defender valiantly fought on.

Popp received a yellow card for a challenge on De Vanna minutes later, Alleway’s free kick hit long with the Australians unable to capitalise. Melanie Behringer had a definite chance on goal in the 31st minute after a one-two combination with Popp, sending her left footed shot just wide of the left post.

Foord was fouled outside the box in the 33rd minute, with Kyah Simon’s over hit free kick letting the Germans off easy. Simon was much more influential in the second game of the tournament, contributing some excellent attacking threads for the likes of Kerr and Foord.

De Vanna’s intercept in the next play sent Kerr in on goal again, with the Australians unable to capitalise on a 2-0 lead. A free kick against De Vanna in the 35th minute saw Germany gain momentum, allowing Mittag in on goal, with Williams producing a highlight-reel worthy midair save.

Gorry had one of Australia’s best chances with 5 minutes left in the half, after another De Vanna intercept set up a low driven shot from Gorry that narrowly missed the left post. Gorry later had to leave the field briefly after a diving clearance left her wounded.

The Matildas had their second breakthrough in the 45th minute when De Vanna’s classy dribble up the left wing and subsequent square ball to Caitlin Foord allowed the oncoming Foord to slip the ball past Schult once again, sending the Australians up 2-0.

Celebrations were short lived however, as the Germans were permitted to flow through the center of the pitch with just seconds on the clock, setting up Däbritz for one of the goals of the tournament. Dabritz hit the ball with the outside of her left boot, curling it into the upper right corner, too well placed for even an inform Williams to deflect. The teams entered the break 2-1, with the Australians disappointed to have given up a two goal margin.

The Germans made one change at the half, with Krahn making way for Henning, in an attempt to bolster their attack for a comeback.

Australia was under threat early in the second half as the Germans looked to equalise. Foord caused problems for Germany at the other end, keen to add a second goal to her tally. Catley and Alleway both pushed into the attack for Australia, while Simon continued to support in the attacking midfield position.

Foord had the ball all but in the net in the 61st minute, after she was gifted a beautiful through ball, but a last minute slide from Germany’s Leonie Maiher kept the scoreline at 2-1. Two minutes later Foord was in on goal once again after a flick on from Kerr, with Foord rocketing the ball high.

Australia made their first change in the 67th minute with De Vanna making way for Michelle Heyman, who made an immediate impact for Australia. Heyman set herself up for a volley in the 70th minute with a classy flick through the German defense, her shot spraying wide. Alleway’s clearance from a defensive corner then sent Heyman forward again, winning a corner for Australia at the other end.

The attacking combinations for Australia continued to flow with Simon, Kerr and Heyman all looking dangerous. Australia survived a threat in the 80th minute when they were too slow to close Leonie Maier, who was able to get in behind the defense and cause some headaches. Kerr made way for Chloe Logarzo with 8 minutes left to play, as both teams looked to power home another goal.

An 88th minute corner by Behringer was Australia’s undoing. A well delivered back post ball, that appeared to ricochet off Polkinghorne, who was being pressured heavily by Saskia Bartusiak, beat Williams down low. The close range shot was credited to Bartusiak and tied the game 2-2. Despite their efforts in overtime, the Australians were unable to capitalise on a late corner, taking just the single point out of the game.

Despite the disappointing late goal, it was an improved performance from the Australians who are in with a good chance to progress through to the knockout stage, provided their third game against Zimbabwe goes to plan.

The Matildas take on Zimbabwe at Arena Fonte Nova on Tuesday afternoon in Brazil, with the game airing at 5am AEST Wednesday 10th August 2016.


Germany 2 (Daebritz 45’+2, Bartusiak 88’)

Australia 2 (Kerr 6’, Foord 45’)

Australia Lineup 1. Lydia Williams (gk), 3. Katrina Gorry, 4. Clare Polkinghorne, 5. Laura Alleway, 7. Stephanie Catley, 8. Elise Kellond-Knight, 9. Caitlin Foord, 11. Lisa De Vanna (16. Michelle Heyman 67’), 14. Alanna Kennedy, 15. Samantha Kerr (6. Chloe Logarzo 83’), 17. Kyah Simon

Unused Substitutes 2. Larissa Crummer, 10. Emily van Egmond, 12. Ellie Carpenter, 13. Tameka Butt, 18. Mackenzie Arnold (gk)

Yellow Cards None

Red Cards None

Referee Anna-Marie Keighley (New Zealand)