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Sports

Matildas bounce back from 2-0 deficit to stun Brazil

media A atacante Kerr comemora um dos gols das australianas na vitória de 3 a 2 sobre o Brasil em Montpellier. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Australia came back from two-goals down to beat Brazil 3-2 in Montpellier on Thursday and keep their Women's World Cup hopes alive. An own-goal from Monica completed the stunning turnaround, while China beat South Africa in Paris.

"One of the finest Australian performances I've seen" – praise indeed from Australia coach Ante Milicic after his team came back from 2-nil down to beat Brazil 3-2 in the Women's Football World Cup.

"Aussie heart," summed up Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams. "It was kind of do or die for us."

If Australia had lost, they faced being knocked out of the competition early.

The Matildas had snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory in their opening game against Italy. Leading 1-nil up at half-time, they conceded two goals in the second half, the second in the 96th minute, finally going down 2-1.

But in the southern French city of Montpellier, captain Sam Kerr's side showed grit. Their success means that they are the second team in women's world cups to win after being at least two-nil down. Sweden beat Germany in 1995.

And for Brazil, it was the first World Cup group stage loss in 24 years.

This came despite the opening of the score by superstar Marta, who converted a penalty in the 27th minute.

It was her 16th goal, which means the 33-year-old has now scored one more World Cup goal than Ronaldo and four more than Pele.

It also made her the only player, male or female, to score in five World Cups.

Having notched up 15 goals before the game, she was already the record scorer at the Women's World Cup.

She went off at half-time after taking a knock, but if she scores once more, she will take the outright record for most World Cup goals. She is currently level with Miroslav Klose, despite having played six games fewer (18) than the German.

China send South Africa bottom

In the other group stage game played on Thursday, China defeated South Africa 1-nil.

Africa's player of the year Thembi Kgatlana, who scored against Spain in the 3-1 defeat, produced the Banyana Banyana's best chance when she burst into the area but her shot hit the side-netting.

South Africa are bottom of group B, having lost their first two games.

The will need to beat two-time champions Germany in their final match by a massive margin to qualify for the last 16.

This Friday, Jamaica play Italy in group C, while in group D Japan are pitted against Scotland, and England against Argentina.

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