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Courage the new hallmark as Matildas pose questions of world’s best | Richard Parkin

The USA are the benchmark and while there’s work ahead for Australia, the questions posed in Denver are a step forward

In the rarified air of the “Mile-High City” strange things happen in football matches between the USA and Australia. Seven years ago, these two sides played out a curious 6-2, in which Lisa De Vanna scored a virtuoso solo goal from inside her own half that underlined her status as one of the greats of the women’s game.

Fast-forward to 2019, and another eight-goal encounter in Denver has given Matildas fans the opportunity both for optimism and concern. Do you focus on the fact that Australia are the first team to score three goals against the world’s No 1 team on home soil in over two years, or dwell on the fact that it’s the first time the Matildas have shipped five since that fateful first encounter at altitude?

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