WHAT WE LEARNED FROM AUSTRALIA'S LOSS TO THE NETHERLANDS

THE MATILDAS EXPECTATIONS JUST TOOK AN AN ICE BATH

No more talk about winning the World Cup. Australia's goal should be, as always, to plot a route out of their group. On the evidence of Eindhoven, that will be tricky enough with improving Italy and nemesis Brazil in the way. The Matildas remain dangerous going forward but are battling at the back. They've now been found out in their last four away outings; a 5-3 loss to USA in April was preceded by a 2-0 loss to France and a scarcely merited 1-1 draw in England last October.

KK NEEDS TO BE OK

Emily van Egmond put in a lamentable shift at the base of the midfield against the Netherlands, perhaps understandable given her regular partner Elise Kellond-Knight was out of action with a calf issue. With Australia attempting a possession-heavy game under Milicic, Kellond-Knight's poise and passing now seems crucial. Fill-in Tameka Yallop, Kellond-Knight's best friend, was combative but it seems there's no replacing KK.

PLUS...

Pic special: Australia v Netherlands

Catch up on the match action from the Matildas' cals with Netherlands overnight.

RASO'S READY TO GO

The chief positive from the wreckage was Hayley Raso. The ribboned forward looked Australia's liveliest attacker and enjoyed three chances to score; from Sam Kerr's cross, from Yallop's cutback and then with a one-on-one chance when she was unfortunately mowed down. She now looks a likely starter against Italy. Raso's performance was all the more meritorious given she was crash-tackled by Kika van Es in the opening three minutes with such brutality the Dutchwoman was substituted shortly after having injured herself.

THE DUTCH WILL CHALLENGE

As Australia's World Cup hopes took a nosedive, Dutch optimism soared. Boasting three world-class attackers in Shanice van de Sander, Leike Martens and Vivianne Midema, the Netherlands will take some stopping. Their group of Canada, Cameroon and New Zealand appears kind and they've not scored 12 goals without conceding in their last three hitouts.

WORLD CUP ATMOSPHERES

If this match is any guide, we're in for a bumper World Cup. All of the contenders have seriously in-form forwards, which should mean goals. And Eindhoven boasted a record crowd for a women's football match in the Netherlands, delivering a spine-tingling atmosphere. With a similar hype around the host nation and strong ticket sales, France looks set to be a blockbuster event.