Tony Gustavsson shows no mercy in Matildas opener

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The Matildas are off to a firing start in the Asian cup after winning 18-0 against Indonesia on Friday night.

This game had it all; from Sam Kerr becoming the all time highest goal scorer for Australia to Indonesia’s first Asian Cup appearance in 33 years.

With a strong starting XI, Indonesia pressed early in efforts to shut down Australia’s attack but it took all of nine minutes for the scoring to begin courtesy of Sam Kerr, bagging the first of her five goals.

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While the Matildas excelled in creating chances, finding space, and making a lot of runs into the box – the main talking point was not the score, or even the performance.

With a choice between giving younger players a run or subbing on experienced players, Tony Gustavsson chose the latter. He pushed two of the team’s key defenders into attacking positions despite heading into the second half with a landslide of a lead.

While performances from the likes of Cortnee Vine and Remy Siemsen were anticipated, Gustavsson chose to keep them on the side-lines and instead had some of the most capped players take the field to continue the ruthless result.

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Although, there was one new face who did made her debut; Holly McNamara.The 18-year-old came on with an opportunity to score however fell shy by hitting the post.

After the game, McNamara could only say how excited she was to be able to make her debut especially with the final result.

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Australia is set to face Philippines on Monday night with ex-Matildas coach Alen Stajcic now leading the opposition. It poses the idea that Gustavsson may have left the newbies out for a reason, considering Stajcic knows most of this squad inside out.

Feature Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Ash Ramos
Ash Ramos
Journalism student at Curtin University covering Perth Glory for the 2021/22 A-leagues season. Siuuu

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