Matildas' captain Sam Kerr has said the team won't sit and wallow following their loss to Sweden in the Olympic semi-final, with sights set on the battle for bronze.
While the team is disappointed they couldn’t progress to the gold medal match, there is still so much belief.
“We believe in our team so much, we know that we've got such a special team and we really thought that we could win today. Other than one jammy chance. It’s disappointing, but that's football.” Kerr told Channel 7 post-match.
“We probably got one of those last game, so you’ve got to have luck on your side and we didn't tonight but I think we did ourselves proud by fighting to the very end.”
In the team’s second battle with the Swedes at Tokyo 2020, the Matildas looked to learn from the errors from the 4-2 group stage loss. The semi-final was tense and much tighter than the group stage contest.
“Someone had to win tonight and I think either team would have been deserving. I think they’ve [Sweden] got a strong chance of winning it (the final),” Kerr said to media post-game.
“It was a 50-50 game. I thought we had more of the possession. That’s just football sometimes.”
Sweden now face Canada in the gold medal match, with Kerr believing the Swedes can go all the way.
“There's not much between the top three, top four. They've shown at this tournament that they're right up there, so credit to them. They're a really good team.,” Kerr told Channel 7.
After the match, the team gathered with coach Tony Gustavsson addressing the squad. His messages were clear.
“He's proud of us proud, proud about the effort, and we have unfinished business.”
“We've got a bronze medal match, we still have the chance to make history so obviously, a bit disappointed and we'll learn from it tonight. But we're going to pick ourselves up tomorrow like we did after the GB game, can't celebrate too long and can't be sad too long.”
The match against Sweden was the team’s fifth in two weeks. The jam-packed schedule and testing conditions have affected everyone.
“It’s getting to the pointy end of the tournament where everyone’s played a lot of minutes. It was a hot one today. I feel like this was the hottest game we’ve played since we’ve been here.”
“But it is what it is. Everyone’s feeling tired. They feel the same. They’ve played the same minutes.”
“I’m just tired. We all are. It’s not just this tournament. We’ve been going since last July when we started pre-season. But we get a buzz from there, having a medal at stake. I’ll be ready come USA.”
Next up for the Aussies is the USA, a team they have beaten only once before.
“They’re (USA) just a different kettle of fish when there’s a medal at stake. They’ve always shown up.” Kerr explained to media.
“They’re a really, really good team and they’ve got amazing players. We’ll play the underdog very well, like we always do.”
Kick-off for the bronze medal match is at 6:00 pm AEST on Thursday evening.
BRONZE MEDAL MATCH DETAILS
Matildas v United States
6:00 pm AEST kick-off
Watch it LIVE via the Seven Network and 7plus app (check your local listings)
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