Algarve Cup preview: Westfield Matildas v Portugal

After a last-gasp 4-3 win over Norway in their opening match of the Algarve Cup tournament, the Westfield Matildas face hosts Portugal in their second group game.

The Portuguese side belied their lowly world ranking by notching a 2-1 victory over China in their opening game of the tournament.

Having eventually defeated Norway, albeit with the last action of a frantic encounter, Australia will back themselves to make it two from two against supposedly their easiest opponents.

But the hosts will be buoyed by their opening performance and boosted by a strong local crowd at the Estádio Algarve. 


Estádio Algarve, Portugal

Friday 2 March (Saturday 3 March AEST)

Kick-Off: 3pm local (2am AEDT)


The two nations have met just once before, also at the Algarve Cup when Portugal hosted the tournament in 1999.

Under Greg Brown’s stewardship, the Australian side played out a goalless draw with their hosts.


Steph Catley and Hayley Raso both missed the opening game through injury, adding to a growing list of unavailable players, with the likes of Kyah Simon, Caitlin Foord and Emily Gielnik also ruled out.

Alen Stajcic played his strongest available side against Norway and may opt to keep things relatively unchanged for the second game of the tournament.

Having set a new record by scoring in a seventh straight international, Sam Kerr will likely lead the line with Lisa de Vanna in support.



The Westfield Matildas would lose nothing if there’s a change in goalkeeper, with the experienced Lydia Williams waiting in the wings.


Australia: 4

Portugal: 38


Logic would suggest that Australia should win the game.

They are ranked significantly higher than Portugal, continue to play some excellent football and have the planet’s hottest striker in Sam Kerr looking to further extend her record of scoring in consecutive matches.



While it was worrying to see a 3-1 lead relinquished before Larissa Crummer’s late heroics secured all three points in their opening game, Australia will be better for such a testing hit-out.

Expect the home side to come out strongly though with a partisan crowd behind them.