‘A really good, hard fought win’ – Westfield Matildas react to 5-0 first leg triumph
It was a case of half a job done as Chloe Logarzo, Kyah Simon and Ellie Carpenter spoke to matildas.com.au after the full-time whistle blew on the Westfield Matildas’ 5-0 win against Vietnam.
The Green and Gold seized the advantage in the first leg of their final Olympic Games qualifier at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, and Ante Milicic and his side now stand 90 minutes away from booking their tickets to Tokyo 2020.
The squad flew out to Vietnam on Saturday to prepare for the second leg at Cẩm Phả Stadium in the Quảng Ninh Province, knowing that a similar performance on Wednesday will secure the Westfield Matildas’ fourth ever appearance in the Olympic Games women's football tournament.
A chance to showcase their skills on the global stage and write their names into sporting history is the ultimate prize in Tokyo, and Carpenter, Logarzo and Simon reflected on the first stage of that final showdown against Vietnam in front of more than 14,000 supporters in the Hunter.
Ellie Carpenter put in a rampaging performance from right-back in the convincing first leg triumph and grabbed an assist for Sam Kerr's opener as Australia made the break through after 10 minutes.
The Melbourne City star spent long periods of the match in the attacking half at McDonald Jones Stadium but she expected a stronger performance from the Green and Gold.
“We knew it was going to be tough, we knew we had to score some goals and put it in the back of the net,” Carpenter said.
“We scored five, 5-0 is not too bad at home here but I thought the performance could have been a bit better.”
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Chloe Logarzo started in a three-pronged attack with fellow English Super League forwards Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord and the Bristol City star admits Australia were wary of becoming complacent against a team they were dominating.
“[Being patient] is really important I think. When we play opponents like this we kind of get a little complacent,” Logarzo said.
“For us, it’s about playing the game plan that we want to. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll end up getting the end result – we just need to be patient.”
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Kyah Simon has settled seamlessly back into the Westfield Matildas set up and, playing in a slightly withdrawn role behind the front three, the Melbourne City attacker praised the team's problem-solving skills against a stubborn opponent.
“[It was] tough conditions out here. They really banked in and it was hard for us to break down at times,” said Simon.
“But, for us to go to the next level, we need to problem solve on the fly like that.
“I thought it was a really, good hard fought win by us and something that we can build on and take over to Vietnam.”
Vietnam v Australia (Away Leg)
Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2020
Kick-off: 6.00pm local; 10pm AEDT
Venue: Cẩm Phả Stadium, Cẩm Phả, Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam
United States of America v Australia
Date: Friday, 10 April 2020 (local time)
Kick-off: To be confirmed
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah, USA
Canada v Australia
Date: Tuesday, 14 April 2020 (local time)
Kick-off: 7.30pm – 12.30pm Wednesday, 15 April 2020
Venue: BC Place, Vancouver, Canada