Matildas knock off Football Ferns on penalties

Brianna Davey was the hero for the Matildas, stopping two penalties in her teams' international friendly win over New Zealand.

Brianna Davey was there hero for the Westfield Matildas, saving two penalties in spectacular fashion as the Matildas beat New Zealand-s Football Ferns 4-2 on penalties, after regular time ended 1-1 at Canberra-s McKeller Park.

Davey was brilliant throughout the match and stopped Amber Hearn-s and Katie Hoyle-s penalties to give Australia what proved an unassailable lead in the shoot-out with Elise Kellond-Knight, Emily van Egmond, Servet Uzunlar and Samantha Kerr netting their penalties.

With the game in the dying stages Kellond-Knight almost gave the Matildas victory in injury time, but her on-target header was stopped by Ferns keeper Erin Naylor and then cleared off the line in a mad 92nd minute scramble.

While the Matildas won the match, it was New Zealand who impressed most with their performance, dominating the possession for the majority of the game, but so often the final pass eluded them even with Hannah Wilkinson in marauding form down the left side of the field.

The same could be said for the Matildas who through outplayed looked very good attacking on the counter with Sam Kerr continuing her rise through the ranks with an inspired performance on the right-hand side of midfield.

Despite a poor start it was actually the Matildas who got the scoring off to a start when Clare Polkinghorne headed home a Servet Uzunlar corner past Naylor and from there they held the ascendency for a short time, unlucky not to double their lead when Kellond-Knight hit a low cross into the path of Kerr, who was foiled by the New Zealand defence.

Australia would hold the lead for just over 20 minutes, but eventually New Zealand-s dominance wore them down and Sarah Gregorious was the beneficiary as a Hannah Wilkinson cross found its way deep at the back post, allowing Gregorious to to turn and hit the strike into the top left corner of Davey-s goal and bring the Kiwis back into it.

Despite numerous chances to the Football Ferns they couldn-t get that match-winning goal and the Matildas held strong for the victory on penalties