The Matildas have hosed down the controversy that has surrounded the team after the American media responded to an FFA article which took a swipe at the US women’s national team on its website.
A Matildas spokesperson told FourFourTwo about the headline and the story “The USA well they aren’t just that good” – which appeared on the FFA’s Matildas website - that the US media’s response “was certainly not the FFA’s intention.”
World Cup debutant Alanna Kennedy, who came on as substitute in the second half during the 3-1 loss to the US, said the team was ignoring the spat and is only looking towards the crucial game against Nigeria on Saturday morning (AEST).
“We are here to play football, so everything that happens off the field has not really anything to do with us,” Kennedy, 20, told FourFourTwo.
“We are just focused on the games that we are here to play.”
The 27-time capped Matilda denies that the Australians are under any extra burden to win going into the Friday’s do-or-die game.
“I don’t think we are under pressure, we are just focused on the game ahead and we are all quite relaxed and we got a lot of confidence in our team and our ability,” she said.
“I think we’ll deal with the next game against Nigeria really well. We’ll look to play our style of football on Friday and hopefully we can get a win.”
The Nigerian team earned a surprise 3-3 draw against the highly fancied Sweden in their first game and Kennedy said the team are not under-rating the strengths of their opponent.
“We are definitely not going to underestimate Nigeria,” she said.
“They have a lot of quality in terms of their athleticism and being physical.
“We just have to approach it the same as any game and just focus on ourselves and break down their structure and hopefully get a few chances and execute those and get a few goals.
“We got a lot of confidence after we played really well in patches against the US, so we are just looking to take that confidence into the next game.
“Nigeria has been quite an unpredictable team so we’ll just look to pick them off with our quality. We are all really buzzing for it after losing to the US, so we are ready for it.”comments