Soccer-Gustavsson wants tough tests for Australia ahead of Women's World Cup


FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Soccer Football - Women - Semifinal - Australia v Sweden - International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan - August 2, 2021. Australia coach Tony Gustavsson speaks to his players and coaching staff after the match REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

(Reuters) - Australia coach Tony Gustavsson wants to test his 'Matildas' squad against more of the world's best teams in the lead-up to the country's co-hosting of the 2023 Women's World Cup after they drew 2-2 with Brazil in Sydney on Tuesday.

Australia, who will co-host the World Cup with New Zealand, beat the South Americans 3-1 at the weekend in the first of back-to-back matches and the Swedish coach is keen to ensure his players keep developing.

"I personally can't wait to get back into camp and get going again because there's going to be so much learning from this camp, especially this last game that we can take going into that," said Gustavsson.

"We also need to try to put as tough of a schedule as possible from now to the World Cup '23 and play top ranked teams because that's really when you learn.

"And also different, unique kind of teams, meaning tactically different teams to get exposed to different types of tactics."

Gustavsson's side had lost three in a row prior to Saturday's win against Brazil, and goals from Clare Polkinghorne and Sam Kerr had them on track for a second straight victory after 53 minutes.

But two goals in seven minutes from Erika, who headed in a Marta corner, and Debinha pulled the visitors level.

"I do think there was some improvement defensively in this game," said Gustavsson.

"Of course, I'm disappointed that we conceded from that corner. They scored too easily and that's something we need to work on."

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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