Matildas mauled 5-0 by classy Netherlands

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The Matildas have endured a second dispiriting setback to their Olympics preparations in the space of four days, suffering a humbling 5-0 defeat to 2019 FIFA World Cup finalists, the Netherlands, in Nijmegen.

Just as in their 5-2 defeat by Olympic champions Germany on Saturday, Tony Gustavsson's Australian national team were again acquainted with the vast gulf in class that separates them from the world's best in Tuesday's one-sided affair.

Helped by the Matildas' sloppiness in possession and their own incisive attacking instincts, the Dutch, the world's No.4 side, ran away with goals from Jill Roord, Lieke Martens, Jackie Groenen, Lineth Beerensteyn and Danielle van de Donk.

When Gustavsson had taken the reins, his superstar captain Sam Kerr was among those who said it was music to her ears that the Swede's approach was "all about goals, goals, goals."

Unfortunately, on another sobering occasion for Australia, all the goals were going in the wrong net - and a starved-for-service Kerr, for her part, got only one sniff on goal all match, slicing an 81st minute shot wide.

The five-goal margin was Australia's biggest defeat since they lost 5-0 to China 13 years ago - and they haven't conceded five or more in consecutive games in 26 years.

The sideshow personal billing of Chelsea's Kerr versus Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema as a battle between the world's top two women strikers was a knockout win for the Dutchwoman who, even without a goal, proved instrumental in so much of the Oranje's best work.

Over their two games, their first in nearly 400 days since qualifying for Tokyo, some rustiness was understandable and there were a few rays of hope for Gustavsson in Emily Gielnik's goals against Germany and Hayley Raso's tireless probing against the Dutch.

But another disjointed display offered precious little hope the Matildas can make a serious assault on gold in Tokyo with the Dutch among the opposition. This was the ninth straight match they've failed to beat European opposition.

The tough day behind closed doors at the NEC Stadium began with the Matildas, who made four changes from their starting lineup against the Germans, quickly launching their own downfall.

Teen Mary Fowler passed straight to Martens outside her own box, allowing the hosts to set up Miedema and, though her effort was saved, the superstar striker nipped in to feed Roord to tap home.

The Matildas wore black armbands in memory of goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold's grandmother, who died recently.

On this emotional day for the West Ham keeper, a bad mistake was forgivable as she let Martens' speculative 20-metre left-foot shot slip beneath her in the 20th minute.

A high-press from the Dutch saw them rob a ponderous Australia rearguard, leading to Miedema setting up Groenen for a simple third with the game effectively over after just 27 minutes.

The Matildas got a foothold after the break but were dissected by a lovely 67th minute Dutch break, former world player of the year Martens delivering a terrific crossfield ball that sub Beerensteyn lobbed expertly over Arnold.

Dylan Holmes emerged for a Matildas debut but marked the occasion by giving the ball away in the penalty area to van de Donk who sealed the rout with 20 minutes left.

Gielnik, who was not in the starting lineup after her double against Germany because of worries over a groin injury, came on again but the best chance fell to the luckless Holmes, who volleyed wide from point-blank range.

Source AAP