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Matildas have seven days to regroup after Dutch hand out reality check

3 5 0

The scoreline might have been surprising, and the result is definitely a setback.

But coach Ante Milicic and his staff will be hoping that the Matildas' 3-0 loss to The Netherlands is just the sort of reality check needed to hammer home to his players the magnitude of the task facing them heading into their World Cup opener against Italy next weekend.

Milicic and his team have seven days now to examine where things went wrong - largely at the back - against a powerful Dutch side, who will themselves take a huge boost from this match and fancy their chances of upsetting many more favoured nations in the month long tournament.

The coach played a strong side, although he was without pivotal midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight, a crucial element in his team's structure.

Steph Catley, whose absence in the 5-3 defeat to the US in April was widely noted, came in at left back and she will no doubt improve for the run after her injury.

She will need to, along with the rest of the Australian rearguard.

The Matildas have now conceded eight goals in two games against the USA - the World Cup favourites - and the Dutch, who are ranked at........

© The Age