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Concern but no panic as Matildas wilt under intense Oranje spotlight

The intense scrutiny of the World Cup has already begun, forged in the furnace of a friendly in Eindhoven

For Australian fans accustomed to cavernous multi-purpose stadiums, the steep raking stands of Philips Stadion in Eindhoven is a magnificent and imposing sight. On a warm 28C summer evening, with 30,640 fans literally packed to the rafters and with the roof closed it had a greenhouse-like effect – the heat stayed in; and so too did the intensity from the crowd.

As pre-World Cup friendlies go, this was as near to perfect as the Matildas could have hoped for. A game played at full tempo, an intimidating one-eyed crowd, a world-class strikeforce including Sanice van de Sanden at her imperious best.

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