While France walked away with the win, the Matildas’ friendly against next year’s World Cup hosts provided plenty of talking points.
1. Positional changes take some getting used to
The Matildas adopted a 3-4-1-2 formation, moving Larissa Crummer into the backs for added pace in defence. France showed how effective a back three can be in creating attacking opportunities but the Matildas struggled to organise their defensive line, getting caught out of position and exposing themselves in front of goal.
2. France are just as dangerous without the ball
France’s direct attacking style kept the Matildas in their own half for most of the first 45 minutes. The home side were quick to press, not allowing their opponents any time on the ball and effectively shutting down the centre channel for Australia.
3. Composure is key
Sustained pressure from France left the Matildas unable to settle on the ball and play their usual high line of pressing attack. Small mistakes started to take their toll as passes in the final third, more often than not, failed to find their target. France also struggled with composure in front of goal with clear chances missing their mark.
4. France dangerous down the left
There was a lot of talk before the game surrounding France’s strength down the left flank and they did not disappoint. Amel Majri used her speed to open up the Matilda’s defence, drawing players in and releasing team mates into space with short, sharp passes.
5. Depth off the bench
Australia’s substitutes proved that they don’t need a lot of time on the field to make an impact. Mary Fowler, Emily Gielnik and Amy Sayer were brought on for the closing stages, helping change up the tempo and absorb the French pressure.