• Sam Kerr celebrates a goal for the Matildas (Getty Images)
A Lisa De Vanna wonder goal and a flicked Sam Kerr header turned it on for a sold-out crowd as the Matildas defeated Brazil 2-1 in Penrith.
Source:
AAP
16 Sep 2017 - 5:30 PM  UPDATED 16 Sep 2017 - 5:30 PM

Little over a month after wiping the floor with their Rio Olympics conquerers 6-1 to win the Tournament of Nations, the world No.6 Matildas opened their two-match friendly series in absorbing fashion at Pepper Stadium.

Twenty-three shots to six read the full-time stats of an affair Alen Stajcic's side could claim on the balance of play.

Debinha's second-half goal was simply a consolation for the visitors.

But the South American heavyweights were unwilling to assume the role of victim in Saturday's physical encounter that was peppered with fouls and a few less yellow cards than may have been warranted.

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Indeed, the visitors nearly stole an early advantage in a breathless first half when Rosanna's header blazed marginally wide of Lydia Williams' post.

Amid the ensuing flurry, Caitlin Foord inexplicably diverted her own header wide of an open goal after Kerr popped a ball into the crowded back post.

Kerr, shortlisted last month to be named the world's best women's player, was electric throughout.

But it was De Vanna who drew first blood via a stunning long-range volley just shy of the break.

Latching onto Tameka Butt's flick pass, Australia's all-time record scorer delivered yet another masterclass with her left-foot volley from distance eliciting a rousing reception from the 15,089-strong crowd.

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The Brazilians returned with renewed fire and a strong spell of possession that allowed five-time world player of the year Marta to send in a cross which Cristiane failed to connect.

If that was nearly an equaliser then Andressinha's venomous shot was a sure thing had Williams not made a leaping save onto the post, before the Australian goalkeeper tipped Cristiane's strike onto the upright and recovered well to re-gather.

But Kerr kept probing and, after going into the book for dissent, kept her composure to glance a header into the net, courtesy of Alanna Kennedy's cross.

Substitute Debinha ensured Brazil won't enter Tuesday night's rematch in Newcastle empty-handed, tracking behind Ellie Carpenter to convert Cristiane's through ball.