New model Foord stars as Matildas look toward Women’s World Cup

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Caitlin Foord starred for the Matildas on Saturday afternoon, picking up a brace in a statement victory over world number two Sweden.

Foord was the spearhead of the Matildas attack in the much-needed win as the Australians get closer to their home World Cup starting on July 20 next year. The striker picked up the second goal of the match with a piece of individual mastery placing her strike superbly into the top corner.

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The 28-year-old, who started her career as a wide forward, has recently been shifted more centrally for both club and country. This move has been paying dividends for her, having now scored five goals in the last three games for the Matildas. Meanwhile, at English giants Arsenal, she has three goals for the season across all competitions.

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Foord was quite humble when asked about her change of position.

“I just want to do whatever my role is for the team and I think being central obviously I find the ball a bit more in front of goal and get more opportunities to shoot and to link up with Sam [Kerr] as well,” said Foord.

Foord’s ability to hold up play and the link with her teammates also benefited the Matildas, exemplified by Australian skipper Sam Kerr’s first goal. Foord held up play after a loose header from Swedish defender Emma Kullberg allowing Hayley Raso to bomb down the left-wing and get to the byline to put in a cross to Kerr which was deftly put past Swedish goalkeeper Zecira Musovic.

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In front of 22,065 adoring fans at AAMI Park, Foord and the Matildas used the energy and electricity of the crowd to put four past the Swedes. This win now makes it three in a row which will continue to grow confidence in the group eight months out from the World Cup. Matildas manager Tony Gustavsson was quick to point this out to his players.

“We actually spoke about that with the team before, to look at this as a rehearsal [for the World Cup] when it comes to connecting with the fans and get that vibe and energy and also be true to who we are,” said Gustavsson.

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Foord and the rest of the Matildas feel that they are finally happy with the style of play they have been putting on the park, benefiting their build-up to the biggest Women’s football tournament outside the Olympics.

“I think it’s all about us feeling good. Coming off the back of those two wins we wanted to keep that momentum into this one,” said Foord.

“We feel good. I think we’re playing the style of play that we want to play, we want to be aggressive, and we want to take it to teams no matter who they are. And I think that’s what we did to Sweden today and the results showed for that.”

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The Matildas’ victory over the Swedes was their biggest-ever win over top-five ranked opponents and their second win in a row over teams inside the top 20 following their 3-1 win over Denmark.

The Matildas will be hoping that they have begun to hit their stride prior to the 2023 Women’s World Cup, where they will be hoping to go deep in the tournament in front of the Aussie faithful.

Feature Image Credit: Matildas

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Caydn Foley
Football Fanatic. Journalism student hoping to make this a career. Covering Melbourne City for the 22/23 A-Leagues season.

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