'There's no excuses now': Westfield Matildas ready to fire against Chile

Memories of last year’s surprise loss to Chile on home soil has been at the forefront of the Westfield Matildas’ minds as they prepare for Saturday’s clash at Bankwest Stadium.

The South American’s pulled off a shock 3-2 win over Australia in Penrith in the first of a two-game friendly series in 2018, before the Westfield Matildas bounced back to win 5-0 a few days later.

A year on and the two nations will battle it out in another two-game friendly series but this time Westfield Matildas coach Ante Milicic says his side know what to expect.

“The playing group have spoken about [the loss last year]. It all comes down to us and our mentality and how we take ownership of the group,” Milicic told reporters at the pre-match press conference on Friday.

Watch the full press conference in the player at the top of the page.

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“We won’t underestimate this opponent, particularly the way the games unfolded last year. They were respectable at the World Cup and recently had a draw with Brazil.

“Countries like Chile and the way women’s game is going, they are investing more in women’s football.

“The countries that are investing and also have a football culture like Chile does, they are the ones that are rising.

“We know we’ll be in for a tough game but we’ll be as best prepared as possible and we’ll look to take the game to them.”

WATCH: Matildas prepare for Chile games

Kerr: ‘No more excuses’

It’s already been a significant week for women’s football in Australia with the announcement of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that closes the pay gap between the Caltex Socceroos and Westfield Matildas.

The landmark deal will allow the Westfield Matildas to have access to anything they need to help with their performance on and off the pitch.

It’s a huge step forward for the women’s game in Australia, with skipper Sam Kerr admitting it brings with it some added pressure.

“There’s no excuses now for the Matildas. We’ve got a lot to prove and we’re excited for the challenge,” Kerr said.

“There is going to be a lot more expectation from ourselves now and I think that’s what this team needed, another boost and we’ve got that.

“We’re really grateful the Socceroos were on board with it and hopefully it makes other countries think about what they are doing in their federations too.”

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Sam Kerr
'There’s no excuses now for the Westfield Matildas'

World Cup pain driving the team

The matches against Chile will be the Westfield Matildas’ first since bowing out of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Round of 16 against Norway.

Having arrived in France as one of the pre-tournament favourites, it hurt the squad to bow out the way they did in a penalty shootout.

“Once you bow out of a World Cup like we did, everyone is just ready to play,” Kerr said.

“We’ve had four training sessions and everyone is just hanging out for [Saturday]. We’re excited to be back playing together.

“We believe in this team and we believe in each other. It’s just about getting out on the pitch and getting that belief back.

“It’s been a tough few months getting over the World Cup but we’re ready to move on and ready to begin our journey towards the Olympic qualifiers.”

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Westfield Matildas v Chile

  • Game 1

When: Saturday, 9 November, 2019
Where: Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-off: 3pm (AEDT)
How to watch: Broadcast live on FOX Sports, Kayo, MyFootball Live App and ABC

  • Game 2

When: Tuesday, 12 November, 2019
Where: Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-off: 8pm (AEDT)
How to watch: Broadcast live on FOX Sports, Kayo, MyFootball Live App and ABC

Matildas free to air