Matildas finish fourth in Algarve Cup after losing to Denmark in shootout

The Matildas have finished fourth at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, losing their bronze medal play-off to Denmark in a penalty shootout.

The teams were deadlocked 1-1 after 90 minutes, with Australian striker Kyah Simon's first-half goal cancelled out by a Pernille Harder strike 10 minutes from time at Albufeira. With no extra time, the game headed straight to penalties where veteran Clare Polkinghorne and replacement Samantha Kerr had their efforts saved on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT).

Denmark made no mistake as Sanne Troelsgaard's top-left corner shot handed the Europeans a 4-1 shoot-out victory and the bronze. Spain have taken out the invitational tournament, beating Canada 1-0 in the final.

Australia, who finished atop group C, started the stronger when Sydney FC's Simon benefited from a left-side run by attacking partner Katrina Gorry. Gorry coasted past two defenders before finding Simon, who smashed the ball home at close range.

The two sides traded chances, with Simon and teammate Emily Van Egmond narrowly missing attempts on goal and Matildas stopper Lydia Williams pulling off saves to deny Troelsgaard and Harder.

With an Australian victory in sight, star striker Harder stepped up to control a long-ball superbly and then slice through two defenders, placing her shot into the top right corner.

In the shoot-out, Elise Kellond-Knight found the net before Polkinghorne and Kerr failed to breach Danish goalkeeper Stina Lykke Petersen.

It completes an up-and down tournament for world No.6 Australia, losing to Sweden before recording wins over the Netherlands and China in the pool stage.