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Gustavsson rues Matildas’ execution | The West Australian

The Matildas may have scored twice against Brazil but coach Tony Gustavsson says they must improve their execution if they are to mix it with the world’s best.

Australia had just four shots on target but they were clinical when it mattered in Sydney on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead past the hour mark.

Goals from Clare Polkinghorne and Sam Kerr gave them the advantage at Parramatta’s Commbank Stadium before they eventually threw it away to draw 2-2.

Kerr’s effort was Australia’s best of the two-game series after some slick build-up play from Ellie Carpenter but Gustavsson said they needed to replicate that more often.

“We struggled to get into the final third because Brazil were a bit more aggressive with their defending and I think we played too slow at times,” he said.

“I looked at our passing completion in the final third and it wasn’t that good statistically. We gave the ball away in the final third.

“But, if you look at the second goal, that’s exactly what we’ve been working on – that type of combination play.

“We still want to play crosses when it’s on, but when it’s not, we want to have more variation in the final third. That (Kerr goal) was world class, we need to do it more often.”

After Kerr scored, though, it all unravelled for Australia.

Brazil, who could consider themselves unfortunate to have not scored earlier, hit them with a seven-minute blitz to ensure a draw.

Their first goal came in the 64th minute when Erika headed past Lydia Williams at a corner before a miscued cross caused the Australian No.1 to parry the ball onto the bar and fall backwards into the net, allowing Debinha to tap home from close range minutes later.

The result ensured the Matildas are yet to claim back to back wins under Gustavsson.

Australia won Saturday’s two-game series opener 3-1.

“I said we needed to be humble about that first game because Brazil had a stronger team (on Tuesday),” Gustavsson said.

“As long as we score more I’m happy. I do think there were some improvements defensively.

“I think we did a better job of knowing when to drop off and stop those transitions.

“(But) I’m a bit disappointed we conceded on the corner. We know set pieces are very important. They screened Sam Kerr and scored too easily.”

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