With seven girls making their World Cup debuts in the starting line-up last night the Westfield Matildas ranked 11 in the world matched the Brazilians ranked number 2 in the World, and even at times outplayed them. It was a wonderful performance and incredibly disciplined. Sadly just one moment cost them the game, but with such a young team they will be stung by this defeat and will make sure it doesn’t happen again.
It seems unfair to single out players in such a great team performance but Servet Uzunlar at the back was outstanding breaking down Brazilian attacks and sparking Australian ones. Elise Kellond Knight hardly hit a bad pass all night and looked as if she could have run for another 90 minutes. Lisa de Vanna could so easily have won the game for the Matildas but her lack of game time probably cost the team, as her usual ruthless edge was missing. Tameka Butt is also showing that she is going to be a player to shine on the big stage, and is one to look out for when the team of the tournament is announced – a bold statement after one game but many journalists were raving about her performance! Then you have Kyah Simon, Kim Carroll and Collette McCallum to throw into the mix.
These are remarkable Australian athletes so get behind them and cheer them onto the next round.