Westfield Matildas react to first match in 396 days
The Westfield Matildas returned to the pitch for their first game in 396 days, suffering a 5-2 defeat to Germany.
The result was not what Australia wanted but the team was delighted to be back doing what they love.
"It's just nice to be back out on the pitch and most importantly, playing games again. So I'm grateful for that." Emily Gielnik told matildas.com.au post-game.
Gielnik carried her rich goal scoring form from the Westfield W-League over to the national team, netting twice in the second half.
"As a striker, I'm happy to score but once again, disappointed in my own performance. You always feel like you can do more for the team." Gielnik said.
In the lead up to the game, Australia knew Germany would provide a stern test. The team was disappointed to lose but defeat offers an opportunity to learn and grow.
"It was a tough loss. I think it was a good learning opportunity for us. We haven't been together in a really long time. So we came out we knew it was going to be a tough game, and it was a test for us. But hopefully we can bounce back against Netherlands in our next game." Hayley Raso explained post-game.
The score line didn't totally reflect some of the positives that coach Tony Gustavsson and the team will take out of the game, including the good start and the fight shown in the second half.
"I think we started off strong, and then we start to get picked apart, and we let them play to their strengths. And that's kind of what tore us apart a little bit." Gielnik said.
"And I think it was most important that we just showed a little bit of spirit in the end, just little things, trying to keep pushing on, trying to get more goals, not giving up. So that was just important for us with this game."
The other big positives to come out of this match were the debuts to Beattie Goad, Indiah-Paige Riley, and Alex Huynh.
"I was super excited for the three of them. And it was a huge moment for them." Alanna Kennedy said.
"Beattie coming in in the first half from early on in the game, so it was great from her to be able to react and mentally come into the game at a time like that. And then obviously Indi and Alex have both worked hard away from the team to be here. So yeah, it was great for them and really excited for them."
Focus now turns to the Netherlands and the match on Wednesday morning (AEST).
"I think it's essential that we just recover right. We're obviously going to go back and have a few meetings with Tony, we'll analyse our game and we'll get back on the drawing board to see how the Netherlands play." Raso said.
"But I think it's a big opportunity for us to bounce back and show the way we can play and hopefully we can come out and get a win."
Please note that all dates & times listed are AEST. Kick-off in the Netherlands is on Tuesday, 13 April 2021 at 6:30pm local time.