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Apr 13, 2021   |  11:08PM AET

International City: Checker shines as Matildas struggle

International City: Checker shines as Matildas struggle

The Matildas have returned to action for the first time in over a year with a pair of friendlies against Germany and Netherlands.

Head Coach Tony Gustavsson took the reigns for the first time and it was a baptism of fire coming up against two European powerhouses.

COVID restrictions meant Australian based players couldn’t be called up, although Emma Checker was able to be a part of the squad after joining Icelandic team UMF Selfoss following the conclusion of City’s W-League season.

Checker – who most recently appeared for the Matildas in 2019 – was named amongst the substitutes for the Sunday morning fixture against Germany.

She was made to wait until the 77th minute, but did come on to earn her sixth cap for her country and quickly impressed.

Deployed at right-back – a little wider than what she’s used to for City – Checker didn’t take long to settle and the Matildas had their first just minutes after she came on, Emily Gielnik pulling one back to make it 4-1.

Checker remained involved and picked up the assist for the Matildas second, playing a perfect cross to an unmarked Gielnek who nodded home for her second.

This cameo off the bench must’ve given Gustavsson plenty of confidence, as the new Matildas boss elected to start Checker in Wednesday morning’s clash against the 2019 World Cup runner up.

Checker again took the right full-back position and looked at home, playing the full 90 minutes and performing well despite another disappointing loss for the Matildas.

Emily van Egmond was the only Matilda to touch the ball more than Checker, who’s distribution was matched by her defensive work.

Checker won three of her four duels on Wednesday morning, also making a couple of clearances and picking up an important interception.

The Matildas’ focus now turns to next Wednesday when the draw for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics will be announced.