Matildas

antman

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
16,623
945
Bali/Jakarta
So the girls beat Jamaica 4:1 and avoided the 3rd place in the group which would have meant facing France in the Round of 16. It was close though, Brasil beat Italy 1:0 and another goal would have put them ahead of us on goals scored (we were level with them on goal difference, but scored more goals). In the second half Jamaica scored making it 2:1 and then threatened to score another which would have been disasterous for us.

But Sam Kerr scored 4 right Ant? Yes, she did, the first two from excellent headers although the second the marking was non-existent so a free header from 6 yards. Well taken though. The third and fourth were absolute gifts - a rebound poor clearance from a defender gave her the ball three yards out for a tap in. The last the keeper stuffed up a clearance giving Sam another tap in from 3 yards. You won't get these kind of gifts against better teams.

Problems remain. Ball movement was quicker and there was better interplay in the front third but still not great. We still looked vulnerable when turning the ball over, Jamaica could have scored two or three on a different night. Play Norway next in the R16.

Mind you, some teams win the World Cup after having poor group stages so you never know.
 

Ian4

BIN MAN!
May 6, 2004
19,526
428
Melbourne
We can complain about the refereeing as much as we want, but we didn't deserve to win.

Again our biggest hurdle on the international stage is an Australian coach failing to counter a team that plays a structurally tight system. Think back to the Asian Cup.

As for Sam Kerr... I love her to death, but its clear the height of expectation got to her. She's still the biggest Australian sports star on the world stage in my opinion.

These girls are capable of giving football a massive boost, but bullshit politics has led to a terrible world cup campaign. Its a golden opportunity lost. Very upsetting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

year of the tiger

Tiger Legend
Mar 26, 2008
6,230
516
Tasmania
Sacking the coach really worked out well didn't it.
Watching the replay now - the VAR hasn’t gone our way but Norway have hit the post twice already and should have buried the game before penalties.

Agree on the sacking - it never works to sack a coach so close to a major tournament. FFA are truly incompetent at times.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

MD Jazz

Tiger Champion
Feb 3, 2017
3,832
506
We can complain about the refereeing as much as we want, but we didn't deserve to win.

Again our biggest hurdle on the international stage is an Australian coach failing to counter a team that plays a structurally tight system. Think back to the Asian Cup.

As for Sam Kerr... I love her to death, but its clear the height of expectation got to her. She's still the biggest Australian sports star on the world stage in my opinion.

These girls are capable of giving football a massive boost, but bullshit politics has led to a terrible world cup campaign. Its a golden opportunity lost. Very upsetting.
Good post. Agree on Sam Kerr, although Ash Barty is competing with her for best international Aussie sports star.

Australian women sports stars are so much more likeable, both teams and individuals, than the men. Probably says something about what money does to sports and people.
 

antman

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
16,623
945
Bali/Jakarta
Totally expected. We've been weak the whole tournament and a bunch of defensive errors by other teams made us look better than we were.

A very disappointing campaign from the Matildas, and I've been a big fan for the last ten years, so it pains me to write this. The great unwashed Australian public will probably disagree - they'll see the Matilda's undoubted grit and fighting spirit and claim we were unlucky with refs decisions in the last game, but in truth our weaknesses would have been exploited in the next game even if we had progressed. The penalty shootout indicated the difference in mentality between the two sides - one had discipline and a plan, our girls looked totally unprepared.

Milicic's slow-it-down and play out from the back style, mostly to the wings was an attempt to compensate for the lack of quality in the midfield, and meant we couldn't use Kerr to the best of her abilities as a quick, skillful striker who could run at the defense on the break. Our constant turning over of the ball in transition was a feature of all four games - even Jamaica could have punished us if they had more quality up front. A penalty, two lucky goals against Brazil, two more lucky goals against Jamaica, and even our goal against Norway were all down to basic defensive errors. I would have given the own-goal against Brasil offside too - Kerr was clearly affecting play.

A well-disciplined team like Norway was always going to pressure our runs down the flanks and they did that well, and when we turned the ball over they broke quickly and with skill through the middle of the park, something we just couldn't do for the whole tournament.

I don't know the whole ins-and-outs of the Stajic thing but given the grovelling apology from the FFA to him it seems like one of our best teams in years has underacheived massively due to internal politics. Remember less than one year ago we were smashing teams like Brasil 6-1.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

jb03

Tiger Legend
Jan 28, 2004
26,772
590
Melbourne
Thanks Ant for your summaries. Good debate on twitter under David Duvatic's (sp?) tweet who used the term "brave" when describing the Matildas and got some heavy backlash.

From the outside, the sacking of the coach was a disaster.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

antman

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
16,623
945
Bali/Jakarta
Thanks Ant for your summaries. Good debate on twitter under David Duvatic's (sp?) tweet who used the term "brave" when describing the Matildas and got some heavy backlash.

From the outside, the sacking of the coach was a disaster.
Oh, Dave Davutovic, yeah, he's normally pretty good. The Matilda's were "brave", never gave up. But our tactics and game style stank.