With a big six weeks ahead for the Matildas, it all started off with a massive clash against one of the biggest nations in women's football, and hosts for the 2019 World Cup, France.

The Matildas went into the match holding a rich vein of form, as well as France, who have been excellent and unbeaten in their last five international games. 

   Five things we learnt: France v Australia   

With his mind on the World Cup next year, coach Alen Stajcic resting a number of his stars and gave a chance to a few fresh faces.

Sam Kerr, Alanna Kennedy, Lydia Williams, Katrina Gorry and Emily van Egmond were left out of the 18-player squad. 

But there was still plenty of starpower amongst the younger players, with Lisa De Vanna, Elise Kellond-Knight, Caitlin Foord and Kyah Simon.

Eugenie Le Sommer's stunning second half brace proved the difference on the scoreline.


Australia were forced to endure pressure early as France pressed high and were equally as impressive off the ball as when they were with it, scarily in both defence and attack.

France forced defensive errors as Australia struggled to close out their early exits. This was shown throughout the first-half as early balls were sent in through to an ever-present Amel Majri, a continuous threat as she opened up space.

The Matildas found it difficult to move the ball up forward and breakthrough France's line in the midfield, and due to this set-up, the Matildas struggled to also find their shape and win second balls.

France piled on the pressure as the 30-minute mark crept up, with runs at the Matildas line and displayed super quick transitions from defence to attack.

Even after their dominance and chances, France were unable to finish off their chances and secure a lead at half-time, as goalkeeper, Mackenzie Arnold made some crucial saves.

A beautifully-weighted ball from Majri influenced the build-up to France's opener in the 56th minute, as Le Sommer put the ball home from close-range, their combination proving unstoppable.

After France missed the mark in the first 45 minutes, they were rewarded with a goal but their accuracy is something Coach, Corinne Diacre will have to analyse ahead of next year.

Aivi Luik replaced Larissa Crummer in the 62nd minute, as Crummer struggled in her unnatural position at right-back.

Once again, it was Majri who delivered the ball into the box, but fortunately, Valerie Gauvin missed the target at the back post from inside 10 yards. 

Australia showed some life and had a chance in the 70th minute, as Ellie Carpenter sent in a low cross but was out of reach for Caitlin Foord, and Kyah Simon's squaring ball on the follow-up was cleared.

With the injection of Emily Gielnik and Mary Fowler, it provided the difference and enforced the French defence to scramble and 'keeper, Sarah Bouhaddi was required to make a few saves in a nervy moment for the hosts.

The Matildas also limited France's chances on goal in the second half, as they became more compact and did not let any Les Bleu players in behind, and Chloe Logarzo began to track Majri. 

However, any chances of a late equaliser were tarnished as Le Sommer completed her double with an astounding, world-class finish past Arnold in the 89th minute.

France came away with a 2-0 convincing win, after looking comfortable for most of the 90 minutes and Australia's depth was well and truly tested.

Australia continue their Women's World Cup preparations with a clash against England on Wednesday morning.