Matildas Waltz around Brazil and take the Win Win Win!
So the Matildas are booked in for a Brazilian tonight and the question is whether it will cause pleasure or pain?
Are we feeling disillusioned or fired up and ready to take on some of the top players in the world? Is it a case of it always being Marta, Marta, Marta and increasing her impressive goal scoring record at the World Cup? Formidable Formiga at her 7th World Cup? Or divine Christiane netting a few more for good measure? Can we Foord the gap, can Ellie Carpenter build a bridge to the knockout stage, can Hayley shred the defensive line? Only this morning will tell. And now its too early for more puns and time for the action! Joey is talking about pressure – our lounge room is singing “We get knocked down but we get up again, you never gonna keep us down”! Foz has enough belief for all of us thankfully.
Todays line up consists of a slight change, with Geilnik, some fresh legs up front and as the crowd has been begging, KK is also on the field but needed in the back line, especially when Brazil start with Marta and Christiane up front! Can our defence hold? Im old school and really would have liked a 4-4-2 lineup with some more support in defence or even a 5-2-3 with KK defensive mid. Ante says he is confident but his talk is realistic that we have a challenge ahead of us! Joey is reliving the Italian game and the players look focused on the ball and not seeing their attackers. Foz is identifying the change in the back 4 – how will that impact good or bad? Its not about keeping the players offside given Brazil is more than capable of scoring from quite a way out. Psych out with Marta starting but could we have countered that by starting with DeVanna? She can be such a loose cannon but that’s maybe what we need – lets hope she can be some fresh legs that throw the Brazilians off their game. I just want the game to start already!!
The Matildas are quick to attack but a change over, with a ball out. A break out from Brazil with Tameres but Williams takes it with confidence. Lots of passing with our back line and ambling up the field. Pressure up front by Australia but its so quick to change ends. Brazil sitting far back in defence. Sam on side but Barabara comes out. As opposed to Australia passing around the backline, we are pushing early into their third. Nice crosses from Ellie into the boxes but Brazil clearing nicely. Actually nice crosses from Geilnik as well, but Brazil are stacking their defence against us and we just cant seem to gain touch in the box.
Over time we are still stuck with no luck, and a free kick to Brazil comes from a KK tussle.
Andressa has the ball for a long shot (coffee anyone??) to try and join up with Debinha but just a little too far. Yallop challenges the defence and contact is made with a VAR (very annoying review) to see if it’s a free kick? Come on, the Ref called it, lets play to the ref people!! Now they are calling a possible hand ball before the contact.
Damn, it’s hand ball before the contact so now ball is Brazils.
On a positive note, Ellie is on fire. It gets intense with a clash between Foord and Andressa but no foul given for the slide in by Foord, as it had no real acceleration (puns are back, I must be awake!) BUT WAIT! What? Penalty to Brazil?? No! Use of the VAR to show another Hand ball. Shirt pull by KK! Penalty Kick to Marta! Please Williams!!!!
But Marta nets her 106th goal for her national side. Gutted! And Brazil are again on the attack.
But we push on! And my nails are being bitten off. Brazil are defending so heavily and 2 up at this time in the game? We’ve had 52% possession and they are shutting us down as soon as we reach their third. We have a chance with Sam and Yallop unfortunately again Brazil have dropped so well and we are 3 against 7 in their box. The long ball is working for Brazil, neatly placed in space however our long balls seem to be intercepted and we hand over possession as easily as tax to the government. Again Ellie gives a gorgeous cross to Geilnick and straight to the safe arms of Barbara – can’t the woman just drop the ball once? Finally a long ball by Yallop hitting the sweet spot of Logarzo’s head AND-
Oh my GOD! FOORD WITH A GOAL!!!! We are back in the game and still Ante is cool as a cucumber, SITTING in the box! Is he on ice??
Half time whistle and there is still a chance. Will this half see Ante excited? Can he get excited? Is he in fact a robot? Early morning delusions being shared with you.
We kick off for the second and Marta is off can this mean something? Australia has moved to a 3-4-3 lineup, KK moved up to the midfield.
Soon enough, Brazil attack and Geilnik takes a slide to force a corner and,
OMG, OMG, ANOTHER GOAL! Mid field goal with Logarzo, hitting a lovely cross and Kerr doesn’t even need to connect! So much more success with using our midfield than feeding it up to the strikers only because Brazil keeps stacking the defence.
A quick run by Brazil while we are celebrating and take a shot but a nice block from a Golden jersey. Corner and short ball but Australia safe again. Pressure by Australia sees a penalty to KK with Santos pulling her down. VE to take the kick. Corner. No luck and Brazil race down the park. Logarzo takes on one attacker after another chasing each one down and forcing the passes. Ellie gives the corner – much better than a goal! Defending like there is no tomorrow and VE heads the ball out. Time to settle again girls. OMG is that an own goal? Calling Sam offside. Nervous wait, is the goal classed as offside and does this mean we get it?? If Sam doesn’t touch the ball does that matter? Goal!!!!! We will take that! Pressure by Australia has forced a major mistake by Brazil and Monica will not be in the good books.
We see a change for Brazil after a catastrophic turn of events! Christiane off and Breatiz on, some dangerous fresh legs. Logarzo on the other hand is slippery sliding and given all the runs she has made looks weary. Raso to Kerr, but no OOMPH. No chance for a Kerrching pun yet, but there is still time. Raso and Kerr team up again but still no Kerrunch into the box. How many Kerr puns will I need to use before we actually score?
Brazil begin to fight dirty, even further but the ref is having none of it! They are under pressure and not coping well. 5 minutes extra time, this is where we lost it to Italy!
Defence are just clearing it whether there is someone there or not! Too much pressure down our end but an awesome punch by Lydia and now checking a possible penalty in the box and PHEW nothing to it. Attack by Brazil but Foord just knocks it up the park.
Karly Roestbaken is about to make her debut in the last minute. Young Matilda grows up and takes the field. First touch was good.
Seconds tick down! And that’s a win!!!!!! Golden jerseys reign. We needed it so much and they have just pulled their socks up over knees (a new fashion look maybe?).
So when I wore my Matildas jersey to School Tuesday and was ribbed mercilessly now I can hold my head high again!!!!
By Debbie Hennessy