Westfield Matildas not dwelling on Thailand performance: Arnold

Penalty shootout hero Mackenzie Arnold says the Westfield Matildas have quickly moved on from their ‘disappointing’ performance in Tuesday’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup Semi-Final win over Thailand.

A below-par Matildas outfit needed a late strike from Alanna Kennedy to salvage a 2-2 draw before eventually knocking off a plucky Thai outfit in a shootout.

Arnold admitted the team were in ‘a bit of shock’ following the match but insists their focus has quickly shifted towards Saturday’s Final against Japan.

“We weren’t happy with how we played,” Arnold told FFA TV.  

“I think we didn’t really want to dwell on it or talk about it too much because we didn’t really need to look back on it as we would on other games because we knew our mistakes, we knew what we did wrong and we knew it wasn’t our best game.

“We didn’t really feel there was a need to look back on it too much so we’re just trying to focus on our next game against Japan and try and put that one behind us.”

Arnold was caught out for both of Thailand’s goals in the Semi-Final but made up for it with a match-winning trio of saves in the penalty shootout.

While unhappy with her performance throughout the match, Arnold admitted she was pleased to play her part in the shootout.

“I wasn’t exactly happy with my performance so I knew it was a chance to redeem myself," Arnold said. 

“As it played out it sort of went my way I suppose. I was pretty happy with how that went.

“I was pretty happy that I was able to do that for the girls.”



Arnold, in her first Asian Cup campaign, believes winning the tournament would be the culmination of a long period of hard work for the Matildas.

“I think it would mean everything to the team. Especially after this tournament, we’ve gone through a lot of emotions over the past three-four weeks we’ve been together,” Arnold said.

“I think winning that [the final] would just top everything off and all that hard work going into something that is so worth it.

“It’ll be a good feeling.”