The Matildas will enter the FIFA Women’s World Cup on a high after a 1-0 win over fellow contenders France in front of a record crowd at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.
Locked at nil-all as the second half reached its midway point, the game broke open in a flash on 66 minutes when Hayley Raso cut back for half-time substitute Mary Fowler to score her 10th goal in Australian colours.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Mary Fowler strikes to down France in perfect Matildas send-off.
The Matildas hit the front just after leading attackers Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord were replaced in a welcome sign for coach Tony Gustavsson.
Fowler’s impact off the bench could force a rethink of the starting XI for the World Cup opener against Ireland next Thursday, but speedster Cortnee Vine’s impressive first half will not be ignored.
“We’re bloody quick,” Kerr told Ten in a post-match interview.
“I already knew everything about these girls but it’s nice to show it in front of a big crowd.
“It’s an amazing team, it’s an amazing feeling.”
The Aussies will now head into the World Cup with wins against teams currently ranked third, fourth, fifth, sixth and 13th since October 2022.
While the majority of the 50,629 crowd – the biggest ever for a Matildas game in Australia – will go home happy, a late scare for Tameka Yallop will be a concern.
The 32-year-old, who had only entered the contest in the 62nd minute, grabbed at the back of her knee and struggled to break out of a job following a tackle gone wrong.
Yallop was substituted off and limped down to the rooms with ice on her knee.
Veteran defender Alanna Kennedy got through most of her comeback game after a horror injury run, only cramping before she was replaced.