The Commonwealth Bank Matildas are looking to bounce back in Newcastle after their 3-0 defeat to the US Women’s National team in Sydney on Saturday afternoon.
Commonwealth Bank Matildas' attacker Caitlin Foord is looking forward to playing in front of a boisterous home crowd again but, ideally, with a more favourable result at the end of the night.
“I think for us to play on home soil in front of a home crowd, it's already so easy to get up for these games,” Foord told media.
“We know what Newcastle is like, we’ve played many games there before and they bring good energy and an awesome crowd. For us, we've got a point to prove, we want to finish these games on a high and get a win.”
Foord and her fellow strikers had plenty of chances against the USWNT at Stadium Australia. But a strong performance from United States ‘keeper Casey Murphy meant they could not find the back of the net. Down the other end, the United States took their chances to earn the win.
“They were just clinical with their finishing, we obviously weren't so clinical. So at the end of the day, these moments define games, and I honestly think that was the only thing for us.
“I think in the middle of the field and possession, we definitely outplayed them and were the better team for most of the game. But it's obviously those opportunities that end up finalising the result.”
While the final score was not what any Aussie fan or player wanted, it was a special afternoon at Stadium Australia. The previous crowd record for a Commonwealth Bank Matildas game in Australia was smashed with 36,109 turning up.
Although rain threatened to dampen the mood, fans turned out in droves. And thanks to slightly more relaxed restrictions, interstate fans, friends, and family were able to attend the game too.
“This time around girls from different states could have family fly in to watch the games.
"For those girls to be able to see their family for the first time in about two years and just knowing that they're there and on top of that, having all the fans, the record crowd and playing at Stadium Australia, which we'd never done before, it was just an incredible experience.”
For Foord, the result was the only negative from a pretty special afternoon.
“Even the show as well, coming out with the fireworks and obviously having the Wiggles perform, it just felt like a really big, exciting event and game and it's just disappointing not to have the result.
“But everything else around that, it's definitely a game that we’ll all remember. We want to forget the result, but everything else is definitely something we will remember forever,” the Arsenal forward said with a laugh.
The team will now recover and prepare for the second game in this series in Newcastle on Tuesday night.
Recovery has become even more important with most of the squad now based in Europe, meaning busy club schedules and long-haul flights are now part and parcel of many players’ lives.
“If I'm honest, it's extremely tough. I think this time around feels a little bit tougher than the last one.
"I think that's purely because at our clubs, we've been playing so many games, we play three games a week, which obviously between last camp to now is a lot of games, and then the travel on top is difficult.
“Obviously, we want games at home, so we need to find a way to feel as good as we can. I think that's a bit of the challenge moving forward, getting everyone in the best possible form and position they can coming into camp.
“That's something we're going to have to get used to and find the best strategy to be able to prepare ourselves the best we can for the game for when we come back."