Following a convincing 2-0 friendly victory against New Zealand, the Matildas look in good nick going to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The second half showed how strong the Australian women have become, backed up after an undefeated Olympic qualifying campaign in Japan.
Despite their dominance against the Kiwis, there was a sense of drive to improve the team further. The first 15 minutes of the game saw the Matildas go at the Football Ferns’ throats. However New Zealand were back into the game midway through the first half.
Caitlin Foord stole the show with two goals, as a former right-back for the Matildas she admitted it was good to get on the scoresheet but highlighted they needed to improve.
“We went out to get the win and we came away with that, so we’re pretty happy,” Foord said.
“I think there’s a few things we can work on, so we’ll go back and watch some video and learn from our mistakes and move on from there.
“I was happy to get the two goals, my finishing is something I’ve been working really hard on. I needed to get that second goal, it’s what I’ve been practising, so I was really happy to get that one. A hat-trick would have been nice, maybe next time.”
Coach Alen Stajcic was happy with the win, but also had the same reaction as Foord.
The Matildas boss was unhappy with the amount of sloppy passing and scrappiness in which occurred in the first half.
Stajcic also acknowledged the great performance by Foord and dubbed as her a future star.
“I think our good spells and our passages of play were really good,” he said.
“It showed that fluency and cohesion that we had over in Japan. I thought there were too many spells where we were just a bit sloppy on the ball and gave it away to cheaply.
“The differences between our good play and our bad play were too great and too many passages of play where we lost that fluency a bit.
“Caitlin is an unbelievable player and for me she’s potentially one of the best players in the world, just to see how she runs at people and causes problems, if she can add goal scoring to the list of attributes then there’s no reason why she can’t be one of the best players in the world.”
As seen in the men’s team with Ange Postecoglou wanting to build depth with the Socceroos, it was also on the mind of Stajcic to build versatility in the squad.
Stajcic spoke of the young players in the squad, Chloe Logarzo as well as 16-year-old Ellie Carpenter adding flexibility into the squad.
“Chloe’s a fantastic player in our squad and a great addition in recent times,” he said.
“The work rate she has, she’s almost like two players. She covers so much territory and puts so much pressure on the opposition.
“She’s like Foord, if she can add goal scoring to her list of attributes, she’s going to be some player. She had two chances there that she probably should have done better with. Add that polishing and class in the penalty box then we’re going to have some players on our hands.
“Ellie came on with a number six role which in our team was the most important position in the team. Elise Kellond-Knight got into the World Cup FIFA team last year playing that role, it’s important we have a back up there.”
The Matildas will go head-to-head against New Zealand once again in a curtain raiser match before the Socceroos take on Greece at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.comments