Some sporting moments stick with you forever and last night’s thunderbolt from Australia’s hottest sporting property Sam Kerr (maybe Ben Simmons can also claim this title) will be fondly remembered by many of the 10,904 who attended AAMI Park on a steamy Melbourne night. In the context of the game the goal meant little but try telling that to the hundreds of kids who will be at school today attempting to recreate than moment.
Of course it would be unfair to focus solely on one individual in the hugely talented Kerr, the Matildas are more than that and you start to understand this when you see the interaction between the entire squad. These women are having the time of their lives, representing their country, playing in front of thousands of fans every time they return home and more importantly are in the middle of building something very special.
Lisa De Vanna encapsulates the team ethos. When Steph Catley went down after being trod on (unintentionally) De Vanna made it her mission to run the sixty metres to ensure Catley was alright. To wear the captains arm band is one thing, but to carry yourself in such a way earns you the respect from every player. De Vanna wasn’t a standout last night, but she was a solid contributor during her 86 minute appearance.
Normally when you sub your keeper during the 82nd minute you are probably taking the mickey out of your opposition but when internationals are sparse sometimes you need to blood youngsters into the fold. Many would’ve excused Eliza Campbell to not fully be on task during the first ten minutes of her international career but to pull out a top drawer save like she produced to ensure the team clean sheet shows you how competitive this team is and how much this squad plays for each other.
This was China’s best chance for the night and to be fair they were pretty pedestrian during the contest and at times is looked more like a defensive drill with the keeper kicking the ball long, happy to concede possession on the majority of occasions. It was very much like the Socceroos vs. Thailand game at the same venue, although the Matilda’s have that killer instinct and goal scoring quality. Imagine how different the last few months would’ve been without the Syria and Honduras World Cup qualifiers.
Walking into the ground you could feel the excitement generated from the crowd upon their arrival, there was no nerves, no expectations just thousands of people wanting to see our hottest national sporting team in the flesh after their recent heroics throughout 2017. Not one person left AAMI Park disappointed last night, and that is a rarity for a sporting contest.
Those who weren’t quite sure how good the Matilda’s were left in no doubt last night! The quality of football was very impressive, the tempo of play was fully controlled by the home team and the game was played on our terms from the first to final whistle.Google+