Monday, 24 September 2007

Class overwhelms tenacity

Last night saw the Matildas put up brave performance in their 3-2 quarter final loss to Brazil and thus ending their World Cup run. It was a great effort by the team but in the end, the class of their Brazilian opponents shone through. Their ability to control the tempo of the game with all players looking comfortable on the ball was the key difference. Too often we gave the ball away cheaply in midfield and resorted to the long ball, with which the well drilled Brazilians had little trouble. Credit must be given to the Australian girls who although clearly outclassed, never gave up and their two goals were well taken, especially the header by Lauren Colthorpe. It certainly gave the Brazilians a wake up call after they took an early 2-0 lead. The two goals from Formiga and Cristiane were examples of pure class and great finishing. Although Formiga's goal could have been avoided if she was closed down quicker by our defence. The Brazilian penalty, although clearly a foul, was questionable as to whether the infraction occurred in the penalty area or not. A possible penalty call to Sarah Walsh in the dying minutes was also waved away and with no replays to be seen it was difficult to assess her claims.

Overall, it was a great tournament from the team and now it is time to build on their results and interest. The team from Brazil clearly showed the gulf in class between the setups of the respective countries in both technical ability and football nous. A lot can be learned from countries such as Brazil, Germany and the USA in the way the women's game is developed. Also, our girls need to be playing at a high standard on a regular basis. Against Brazil, many looked tired and for some playing four games in close succession was having its affect. The reintroduction of a professional league in US in 2009 will help in this quest, but some sort of national league here in Australia needs to be put in place. We need to give our team members a chance of regular football and an opportunity to focus solely on their sport and not have to worry about making ends meet. An idea might be to affiliate teams with current A-League clubs and have them play before the men's games. Its just a thought and I would be interested to hear other people's thoughts on this matter. I know it has been topic of hot discussion on the Melbourne Victory forum. I am looking forward to the remaining games of the World Cupand it is great to see SBS showing the games live. I am tipping a Germany vs USA final.

Photo "borrowed" from


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