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Matilda's World Cup Campaign 2023


Jerry_Atrick

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Jerry I agree totally. I usualy switch channels when sport comes on, but women’s teams like soccer and cricket are far more interesting to watch than the men. Real sportsmanship when you see them help a fallen opponent (and our girls have been supportive of all women being paid what they’re worth).

The teams defeated by our Matildas can go home with their heads held high. 
 

Another thing: lets stick it to the evil Taliban, who grind down their womenfolk at every opportunity. Australia hosts the Afghan Women’s team, who should be recognised by FIFA.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/meet-the-women-who-escaped-the-taliban-and-now-play-for-melbourne-victory-20230608-p5deys.html

 

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/afghan-womens-football-team-a-symbol-of-resistance-against-taliban-repression/

 

 

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Well, this is going to sound like a cop out... But, it really is a case of may the best team win. But, if push came to shove, as I am looking to move back to Australia, at a pinch it would be the Matilda's. 

 

My sporting allegiences between my dual citizenship are:

  • Cricket - Australia
  • Mens soccer - England
  • Mens Rugby - England 
  • Everything else - Australia
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I never normally watch soccer games, but watching the Matildas the other night got me wondering why heading the ball hasn't been banned yet. It will be eventually; it's just a matter of when. Other football codes are starting to get serious about head injuries in the game, but soccer is still allowing multiple repetitive blows to the head in every match. The head blows during the game are only part of it. Add to that the number of weekly training sessions and the amount of practice in heading the ball during those sessions, and you get quite a high number of blows to the head every week. Research has shown that small repetitive blows to the head can do a lot of accumulative damage. You might not see the result for another twenty or thirty years, but a certain number of players will eventually end up with dementia like conditions directly attributable to repeated blows to the head.

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On another note, soccer is such a low scoring game that you can duck away from the TV for a minute and miss the only goal in the entire match. I think the difficulty in scoring is what builds the tension. Tension = excitement = fanatical fans.

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13 hours ago, willedoo said:

On another note, soccer is such a low scoring game that you can duck away from the TV for a minute and miss the only goal in the entire match. I think the difficulty in scoring is what builds the tension. Tension = excitement = fanatical fans.

Rugby League games have enough violence on the field, so the fans tend to go home peacefully. Soccer games build up so much frustration that, on their way home, fans sometimes trash the town.

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I felt sorry for Ms Kerr. I know that her position is Striker, and the Striker is supposed to be the one who does the scoring, but you've got to feel for teh stress she is carrying. Basically, the whole outcome depends on her. The rest of the players are meant to get her into a scoring position. At least in the oval ball games, each player stands a chance of worrying the score-keepers.

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Not that I even watched it on TV, but the thousands that watched it at Fed Square ruined it, stampeding and throwing flares. Fed Sq. closed for the next game.

 

I don't go to sporting matches. Not because I'm getiing older, but you see more of the game and replays, from the comfort of the armchair, and don't pay ripoff prices for your refreshments.

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Posted (edited)

Sadly for the Matilda's, their campaign ended (OK. they are playing for third on Saturday, but the big prize is gone), but they should be proud of what they achieved. Sadly, as I was in the office when it was on, I didn't get to see it. But I did see Kerr's goal and it was a cracker. Yes, it is hard to get a goal in soccer, but that makes the excitement of when good ones come that more intense - and of course so are those near misses.

 

There are a couple of more girls who are on European club radars now, and that is great for them. While Kerr is the media's favourite, my was the compact player, Fowler. She is only 20 but, from what I saw at least, was a cut above the rest in skill. In a couple of years, she will challenge Kerr for the mantle.

 

Strangely, women's soccer doesn't quite have the same level of interest here as it does in Aus. I guess as it is playing in Aus, and the Matildas have gone further than probably most thought, it is capturing the imagination of the nation. After the World Cup and the players have settled, I may take the daughter to a game over here to see one of the Aussies in action. I would expect the language in the spectators not to be quite as colourful as in the men's games.

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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I switched the game on at about the 20 minute mark, just as the Matilda tripped the Swede in the 11 yard box. At first I thought Aus was in the yellow strip and even then, I thought the trip was soft and a penalty should not be awared to (what I thought was going to be) Australia. I was a little confused when they called it for Sweden - then it dawned on me the Swedes were in the yellow jerseys.

 

I expected a response from Australia, and they did up the physicality, but it is clear they were pretty well riled by the decision and let it get to them. I don't know how they were playing before I started watching, but their decision making was off, and their skills had fallen away, but what was telling to me was that quite a few seem to play a little more selfishly. When the easy ball was to pass to a team mate, they often decided to take on the opponent. It was clear they were a tired unit and they got beaten in the one-on-ones almost all the ftime. That is when you realise they had mentally lost it. For example, when shots are taken,

 

The Swedes, on the other hand, played with a lot more composure, even when under a little mpre physical pressure after th penalty. Their second goal was a beauty, although made easier be an Aussie defence that was wrong footed. The Swedes looked fater, and when they had posession, they were more in control, their passing was accurate, and their decision making was better. They didn't look as tired. Despite this, Australia had a decent amount of posession, but they were never threatening when they had it - Sweden seemed happy to let them have it until Australia got almost within a whiff of being threatening. This was a time for the Matildas to step up a gear, but as the British commentator remarked, "they are a young an inexperienced team and will learn from this how to account for themselves in the big moments."

 

It could be that Australia does does not have the depth of players, or that Gustaveson was too narrowly focused on a few players, because there were very few changes to the lineups during the course of the world cup, and in the games there were few substitutions. For a home side, that is almost creiminal, but in today's game, he took our stonger performers off to put fresh legs on.. that was not lost on the commentary either.

 

Immensly proud of the women. They may not have won a medal, but they achieved so much more. For women, they have shown they are amongst the best in the world. Even when Australia had its superstars dotted all over Europe, they couldn't make it to the quarter finals, let alone the semis - and that was with a lot more cash thrown at them than the women (Remember Gus Hudink - the coach of the men's team - they paid him a king's ransom). The Aussie government is kicking in $200M to further develop womens suport in Aus solely on the Matilda's performance. So, a netball world cup win and the AFLW wasn't enough.. the Matildas captured the spirit of the nation as the underdog that never gives up. And they have attracted an endearing fan base. Australia's largest ever TV  audience for the semis, and not a bad one for the bronze. And I can tell you, there is nowhere near the exxcitement in England of their Lionesses being in the fiknal of the world cup as there was of Australia being in any stage of the world cup. As one English player put it, "Wow! There were 75,000 people to a women;s game and the home side wasn't in it!".

 

 

Are they household names? Maybe not to everyone, but to a lot more than a fringe group of supporters.

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