Boost of a rest after historic Matildas win
AFTER making Australian football history with a 1-0 win over Brazil, the Matildas have the advantage of an extra 48 hours to prepare for their World Cup quarter-final in Edmonton on Sunday morning.
An 80th-minute goal by substitute Kyah Simon - who scored a double in the 2-0 Group D victory over Nigeria - was enough for the Aussie women to secure the country's first win in a knockout stage of a World Cup.
After a few hours of celebrations in Moncton, it was back to the training paddock ahead of the match against the winner of the round of 16 clash between defending champion Japan and the Netherlands.
Matildas coach Alen Stajcic said the team would stay in Moncton to watch that game, before flying to Edmonton.
Describing the win over Brazil as his greatest moment in the game, Stajcic said he wasn't putting any limits on what the team could achieve in Canada.
"We're all super proud and so excited, I think exhilarating is the word for such a victory against a big powerful football nation ... but there is still more to come," he said. "I can't really express how proud we are of how they perform and how they carry out their tasks. The effort, the execution, the spirit, it has just been brilliant."
The team had plenty of heroes, but none better than goalkeeper Lydia Williams who made two world-class saves to save a cracking shot from Formiga just before the half-hour mark, and another from Marta on the hour. A header from Formiga soon after found the woodwork, before the Aussies broke quickly downfield for Lisa De Vanna to provide Emily Van Egmond with a chance that was deflected wide.
With 10 minutes remaining, De Vanna was involved again, her shot parried away by Brazilian goalkeeper Luciana, but only into the path of Simon who calmly slotted it home.
That was the first goal Brazil had conceded in the tournament, coach Vadeo said he felt his team had been the better side.
"I felt as if we were one of the top teams in the tournament," he said.
"Tactically we also appeared to get things right. We just couldn't find the goal we needed."
Hosts Canada also won its way into the last eight with a 1-0 win over Switzerland.
- APN SPORTS BUREAU