De Vanna fighting physical, mental battle

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Lisa De Vanna finally ended a year-long goal drought in the Matildas' 4-1 defeat of South Korea in the Cup of Nations.

For a forward, 25 games without a goal is a long time. For Lisa De Vanna, it's an eternity.

The all-time Matildas record scorer had endured one of the leanest streaks of her career until Australia's 4-1 win over South Korea in Brisbane.

De Vanna broke through for her first goal at club or national team level since last March on Sunday night, tapping in at the back post after Tameka Butt's blazing run and shot wriggled free.

It might have been one of the easiest finishes of De Vanna's career but it was one of the most important.

"It's good for the confidence. It's been a while since I scored a goal, even the simplest one, a tap in," she said.

De Vanna, 34, went through the latest W-League campaign at champions Sydney FC goalless, struggling for game time with injury and the Sky Blues' plethora of stars.

She was lucky to feature in the grand final win after a nasty injury in a last round clash with Melbourne City.

"That took a step back because I didn't touch a ball for two weeks," she said.

"Then I had to play the New Zealand game (for) 30 minutes and I was lacking a bit of confidence. I didn't really want to get on the ball.

"When you haven't scored a goal, or you're not confident in front of goal, it makes it harder to do everything else.

".... when Ante came up to me and was like, 'you just be you', I thought 'OK the pressure is off'."

De Vanna responded with a power of work in the Cup of Nations victory.

The Western Australian resembled a steam train on Australia's left flank, working up and down the line and making one memorable sprint back to make a last-ditch tackle on a South Korean winger.

She also needed to make a huge run to arrive for her goal.

More than the physical battle, De Vanna said she's been struggling mentally in recent weeks.

The mercurial talent showed her emotions to former coach Alen Stajcic's sacking, posting a note to social media which read "lies lies lies".

De Vanna was close to Stajcic but said she'd been renewed by Milicic's leadership and the battle to board the plane for June's World Cup in France.

"A new coach coming in ... being injured and then you doubt yourself," she said.

"You think, 'I'm at a certain age, can I push, can I push?'

"That's been more of a mental battle."

Source AAP