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Live: The Matildas fall to defeat against battling Ireland in Dublin

The Matildas have fallen to a disappointing 3-2 defeat against the Republic of Ireland in their international friendly in Dublin.

Two first-half goals from Mary Fowler were not enough to deny the 33-ranked Irish, who won their first game since March 2020.

More to come.

Follow all the action from Dublin’s Tallaght Stadium in our live blog.

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By Simon Smale

The stats 

Channel 10

No shortage of chances for Australia, but it was Ireland who were more clinical.

With that amount of possession, and the quality of players on the field, you’d expect a whole lot more from the Matildas than what they put up going forward.

By Simon Smale

Key Event

Full time! Ireland 3-2 Australia

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Ireland has won for the first time after seven-straight defeats!

It’s a huge victory for Ireland, who have not won a game since March 2020.

So many questions for this Matildas team, that were missing a number of players, in fairness.

But Ireland were also without a number of their more established stars as well, and frankly outfought the Matildas from start to finish.

There are still so many questions defensively about this Australia team – which trialed a three at the back system today, to little effect, it has to be said. 

By Simon Smale

89′ Double change for Ireland

Dianne Caldwell and Leanne Kiernan have both come on to help see this game out for the Irish.

There will be three minutes of stoppage time.

By Simon Smale

88′ Chance Matildas

That’s a brilliant tackle at the back to deny Kerr a free run on goal, Louise Quinn standing tall at the back once again.

Then the Matildas give away a free kick at the corner.

By Simon Smale

87′ Chance Matildas

Good spell of possession from the Matildas, although it was all in their defensive half of the field.

As soon as Amanda Beard decided to go forward, she was dispossessed. 

Then Beard swung an ambitious cross from basically half way, but the Irish defence is so strong and so well organised.

This has been a bit of a warning shot for the Matildas, I think. No matter who lowly a team might appear on the rankings, they can still be organised enough to frustrate the so-called stronger nations.

By Simon Smale

84′ Chance Ireland

A good free kick is whipped in by the Irish skipper Katie McCabe, but it’s behind all her teammates and Australia clear.

It was McCabe who won the free kick in the first place, beating out Logarzo.

By Simon Smale

80′ Chance Matildas

Sam Kerr does really well to create a chance for the Matildas by latching onto a long ball.

She could not find either Gielnik or Fowler in the middle, but the Irish have made a real meal out of clearing this and Fowler is lurking with significant intent on the edge of the area. She can’t get a shot away.

Now Gielnik has another chance but the Irish are making up for their lack of ability to clear the ball by flooding the area with green shirts and making things awkward for the Aussies.

Kerr gets wide again, sweeping a cross in to Gielnik that is cleared well at the near post!

By Simon Smale

79′ Chance Ireland

Emily Wheelan skipped down the left and powered a low cross towards Payne, but Angie Beard was on hand to make a strong clearance.

By Simon Smale

76′ Chance Ireland

Williams had to come and claim, and did so rather untidily with her thigh as Payne latched onto a long ball that was allowed to bounce when it really shouldn’t have been.

Another defensive question mark over the Aussies there.

By Simon Smale

75′ Yellow card (Sam Kerr)

Oh dear, Sam Kerr is getting very frustrated now and kicks the ball away after tangling with her opponent as she drops deep to try and win the ball.

A booking for petulance. 

By Simon Smale

73′ Chance Matildas

Can you call that a chance? It was a long ball towards the head of Sam Kerr, whose header from outside the area was easily dealt with by the keeper.

Telling perhaps that the Matildas are looking for other ways to get the ball forward, including those deeper passes from a long way out, rather than trusting their superior individual skills to get the ball forward on the ground…

But that’s all down to the way Ireland have stopped Australia from playing.

By Simon Smale

72′ Ireland sub

Lucy Quinn makes way, the debutant who scored her maiden international goal.

She is replaced by her Birmingham City teammate Emily Whealan.

By Simon Smale

68′ Subs Matildas

Tamika Yallop is off, Charlotte Grant is on to make her senior Matilda’s debut. Not a bad late birthday present… She was 20 yesterday.

Courtney Nevin is also off, Angela Beard is also on for her debut!

By Simon Smale

66′ Chance Matildas!

Ireland’s tenacity and willingness to get bodies around the ball has been really impressive tonight.

The pressure from the hosts has been forcing the Matildas into making some uncharacteristic errors, but this time it was the Irish who dallied and Sam Kerr almost got to Brosnan as she cleared a back pass!

That deflection, on a night of deflections, could have gone anywhere. 

In fact, it went out for a goal kick.

By Simon Smale

By Simon Smale

61′ Chance Ireland

Another free header from a corner, this time Louise Quinn could not keep her header down.

But she had a lot of space to make the run and get up to power the ball over the bar…

By Simon Smale

60′ Ireland sub

Amber Barrett is coming off, Niamh Farrelly is coming on.

That’s a defensive midfielder for an attacking midfielder.

By Simon Smale

55′ Chance Australia

A corner is swept in towards Sam Kerr at the near post, who has gone down holding her ankle as Ireland clear.

Again, there was a bit of contact, but on this occasion, Kerr can get up and continue.

She doesn’t look too happy though… Not the 100th appearance she was hoping for, so far. She’s been a very peripheral figure.

Audience comment by Muzz

There’s some quality attacking football on display tonight. Not so much on the defensive side.

By Simon Smale

52′ Substitution Matildas: Logarzo off, Wheeler on

Concern for Chloe Logarzo, who went down holding her knee and is now being helped off the field.

Hopefully that’s not too serious… It looked like she was bundled over, so hopefully she’s just pulled something rather than anything more serious.

A debut appearance for Clare Wheeler, though.

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