09.06.2019 18:04 h

'Work in progress' Aussies puzzling with old problems after Italy defeat

Australia were counting the cost of defensive frailties after falling to a 2-1 defeat to unfancied Italy in their opening Women's World Cup match on Sunday.

Barbara Bonansea was the hero with Italy's first two World Cup goals in 20 years but the Matildas were left rueing missed chances and above all sloppy defending as they face an uphill task to qualify from Group C.

Next up the Aussies take on Brazil, who top the group, level on points with Italy, after their Cristiane-inspired 3-0 thumping of Jamaica.

"This game is gone now we have to focus on Brazil. We can't ponder on a loss and we wouldn't have pondered on a win either," said Sam Kerr, who scored her side's only goal when she slammed home on the rebound from her own penalty.

"This game's gone, obviously it's disappointing but now we have to focus on Brazil and Jamaica."

Coach Ante Milicic has only been in charge of the Aussies for six months but had said that his team is a work in progress in the lead-up to their arrival in France, during which they suffered heavy defeats to favourites the USA and European champions the Netherlands characterised by poor defending.

On Sunday it was no different against an Italy team not expected to go particularly far.

Bonansea bagged her first after pouncing on Clare Polkinghorne letting the ball run away from her under no pressure, while her last-gasp winner came when a floated free-kick sailed past gawping defenders and keeper Lydia Williams.

"It's easy to talk about a work in progress but today was all about getting the points from the game," said Milicic.

"We've got to shift the focus to Brazil ... we quickly need to learn from our mistakes and pick ourselves up and really understand that we have the potential to get through to the next round, it's just now that we've decided to go the long way about it.

"Maybe that's the Australian way so we'll stare it straight in the eyes and we'll go through."