Thrashed by Spain just a few days earlier, the Matildas produced a better performance to draw with Portugal.
A late Portugal goal has denied the Matildas what would have been a remarkable victory just three days after they were thrashed 7-0 by Spain.
Leading 1-0 after Princess Ibini scored for the first time in a Matildas jersey, the Australians had to settle for a 1-1 draw after Telma Encarnaçao equalised in the 87th minute.
However, Encarnaçao’s goal – which denied goalkeeper Lydia Williams a clean sheet in her 100th Matildas appearance – wasn’t without controversy, with the Portuguese substitute running back from an off-side position to accept a cross and score.
But without VAR, the goal stood, and the Australians had to be content with a draw.
While it was disappointing for the Matildas to concede a late goal, the result and performance from a team missing a host of rested starts was at least a gritty response to their embarrassing weekend display against the Spaniards.
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson had “mixed emotions” about his side’s effort.
“If you’re winning 1-0 in the 87th minute you should get off the park with a win,” Gustavsson said.
“It’s about team management, but when you have a look a look at the inexperienced team on the field, the decision making in those crucial moments is tough learning for the team, but I think 1-1 was a fair result.”
After not playing against Spain, veteran keeper Williams captained the team to celebrate her 100-game milestone.
The inclusion of Williams ahead of fellow keepers Teagan Micah and Mackenzie Arnold, who were both used in the weekend drubbing, was one of two changes Gustavsson made to his starting line-up.
The other change in a reshuffled starting team was Remy Siemsen coming in for Cortnee Vine.
Portugal dominated the early stages, with the shaky and passive Matildas giving up possession far too easily.
The Europeans twice had good chances in the opening half an hour to take what would have been a deserved lead.
But both Jessica Silva and Catarina Amado failed to hit the target from good goalscoring positions.
The Matildas finally settled and should have gone ahead in the 34th minute.
Powerful forward Emily Gielnik got behind the Portuguese defence before cutting the ball back into the path of the unmarked Emily van Egmond.
But the experienced midfielder let herself down with a poor first-time shot that sailed over the crossbar.
Portugal then had a great chance to hit the front on the stroke of halftime, but midfielder Tatiana Pinto couldn’t control her close-range header from a free kick that had been whipped into the Matildas’ six-yard box.
Ibini’s goal – scored from close range after a pinpoint Gielnik cross – broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute before Encarnaçao’s equaliser ensured a win eluded Australia.