The Cairns Post

Matildas transform saga into a positive


MATILDAS coach Tony Gustavsson says his under-fire team turned the pressure of the abuse allegation­s scandal into a driving force in its stirring 3-1 home victory over Brazil.

It was the Swede’s first win as Matildas coach in Australia and only his third from 13 games since assuming control of the team.

Gustavsson, who has called for a zero-tolerance approach to the issue, praised his side’s ability to triumph amid the turmoil from Lisa De Vanna’s recent revelation­s about the Matildas’ culture.

“Teams that want to be at the highest level and compete to win tournament­s need to get used to that interest and pressure from the outside, no matter what it is,” he said.

“This time it was this thing, another time it could be another thing, and thriving under it and looking at pressure as a privilege is an important thing.

“Looking at how the players responded tonight, I’m pleased with how they did it. My coaching staff have been phenomenal in this camp in supporting that process.”

The players had been shielded directly from the media firestorm as they remain in a Covid-19 isolation bubble.

“I don’t even think there was pressure,” attacker Caitlin Foord said.

“We just wanted to enjoy it. Being on home soil again in front of home fans, that’s been well overdue, and that’s what got us through tonight.

“We just wanted to come here and put on a great show and block out the outside noise because we’re here for this team and that’s what we’re here to do.”

 ?? ?? Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson thanks the crowd in Sydney.
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson thanks the crowd in Sydney.

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