Monday, 11 July 2011

Matildas - One waltz too far

It's always painful to see your team lose a crucial game, but it hurts more when you concede the game to the opposition rather than being simply outplayed.

Australia gave so many poor goals away in this tournament - they'll be remembered for that - but last nights final goal that smashed the World Cup dreams of us all was the worst yet.

We'd started poorly, conceded not one but two very soft goals with not one but many players either beaten, caught out of position or simply not marking. But we'd come back and a goal from Ellyse Perry and a ton of possession, a positive start to the second half and the Aussies were back in this game.

Kim Carroll's pass to the Swedish centre forward will go down in history - and Carroll had been our most assured defender to date.

The Matildas were so strapped for last nights game, Sally Shipard, Tameka Butt injured it seems throughout the tournament - the physical side of the tourney played its part and with little referee protection for any team - we were perhaps lucky to be able to pick Garriock, De Vanna, Uzunlar and others even for last nights game.

Fantastic passages of play throughout the tournament - a team robbed of Kate Gill and Sarah Walsh before the start meant Lisa De Vanna and Kyah Simon were always going to have more than they perhaps could cope with in every game.

Caitlin Foord, Emily Van Emond and Sam Kerr showed they are young player of tremendous ability but in a World Cup it's hard for a 17 year old to star every time. Van Egmond was largely absent last night.

But we've been left with some fantastic moments.

Passages of play the like few Aussie teams have ever produced - young players with electric and dazzling talents, and two wins for the first time in a World Cup.

And yet a sense of disappointment pervades. With a fit squad, more protection and punishment of cheats from the referees, and a positive defensive performance - just one - we could so easily have challenged for a World Cup Semi Final.

Not to be!

Time will tell if this team can improve - remember the standard and "professionalism" of European teams is on the rise - with their club sides playing more and more competitive games - they will become fitter, faster - their countries football culture will demand it.

Australia can't stand still - we need something more than the W-League - perhaps a small four country Asian Champions League to start.


Anonymous said...

You can't really argue that Sweden weren't better though can you? They deserved their win however it came about.

Anonymous said...

Lets be honest about the performances.
Lost to Brazil as did Joeys.
Won ugly against Norway as did joeys against Ivory Coast.

Matildas got smashed by Sweden with 11 players. Joeys got smashed with 9 players.

And we still hail them as heroes.
Not consistant, or is Heather R writing all the blogs on women's football.