Melbourne City captain Steph Catley played a full 90 minutes as the Westfield Matildas came from behind to record a thrilling 2-1 Algarve Cup win over China in Portugal overnight.
Catley, who demonstrated her versatility by lining up in the heart of defence alongside Clare Polkinghorne, retained her position in the starting eleven for the third game running as the Matildas required victory to harbour any hopes of progressing to the next round.
The Matildas were on the back foot after Wang Shanshan fired China into the lead with the opening goal on 36 minutes, only for Aussie sub Emily Gielnik to smash home the equaliser in emphatic fashion on the hour mark.
Elle Carpenter then scored the winner only six minutes from time, heading home Emily Van Egmond’s corner to score her first Matildas goal and complete the turnaround.
City duo Lydia Williams and Teigen Allen were unused substutites for the final match of the group stages.
The Netherlands registered a 1-0 win over Sweden in the other group match to see the Matildas top Group C.
In the tournament’s unique format, the top two teams from across the three group’s advance directly to the final. Spain already have a place in the final secured, with the other place likely to go to Canada or Denmark.
Algarve Cup – Group C
Tuesday 7 March 2017
China PR 1 (Wang SHANSHAN 36′)
Australia 2 (Emily GIELNIK 60′, Ellie CARPENTER 84′)
Venue: Estadio Municipal De Albuffeira