Good patches highlight what's to come for Westfield Matildas
While the result was not ideal, the Westfield Matildas once again took plenty out of their 3-2 defeat to Denmark.
A bright start highlighted the kind of football the team wants to play with chances aplenty and even a goal ruled offside.
“We're obviously really disappointed with the end result. Losing 3-2 is not what we came out here to do. And I think in the first 10 or 15 minutes, we really showed that we can play and I thought that we dominated.” Aivi Luik said post-game.
“Obviously, football isn't just 10 to 15 minutes. So it's unfortunate that we weren't able to take that starting momentum further into the game, capitalise early, finish off some of our chances and then go from there and protect a win. But that's football sometimes.”
This game saw the return of plenty of players to the squad and the starting XI, including Tameka Yallop. For the midfielder, the errors that led to two of Denmark’s goals were frustrating but aren’t insurmountable.
“I think we started the game really well and we were nice and confident. I think where we came undone a little bit was set pieces which for us is something that we haven't looked at a lot. So for us, that's something we need to work on and obviously will. In terms of their goals against, those are things we can definitely fix.” Yallop explained.
“It shook our confidence with that first goal where I think it didn't need to, it's a simple set piece that we can work on and fix quite easily. So I think once we were playing how we wanted to play we were doing really well.”
With 12 new players from the April friendlies and limited time to be together, this match and the upcoming game against Sweden present further opportunities for the team to learn Tony Gustavsson’s style and philosophy and get the chemistry of the team back firing again.
With more time together Luik believes the strong performances seen in the bookends of the game can become a more permanent fixture of the team’s play.
“We haven't been together much since COVID. So we've still got to practice a lot more. And I think these next few weeks of training is going to help that to connect and to also listen to Tony and what he's got planned for us and try to implement that on the field because I think we saw that in patches today.”