The Matildas‘ stellar run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup has come to a close in Edmonton this morning, after opposing team Japan came out on top in the third-last minute with a 1-0 defeat.
The tense, scoreless stand-off between Australia and Japan finally broke in the 87th minute this morning, as Mana Iwabuchi sealed Japan’s progression to the semi-finals with the match’s only goal.
Matildas coach Alen Stajcic conceded that today’s match against Japan was not Australia’s finest in the competition, but claimed Iwabuchi’s goal also wasn’t the most elegant.
“In terms of courage, heart and spirit, [we were] fantastic. In terms of execution, not one of our best games. Japan were the better team today. It was a scrappy way to score a goal but you can’t say they didn’t deserve their victory.”
Elise Kellond-Knight told reporters that the 2019 World Cup could be the Matildas biggest chance at victory, saying, “We’ve only had six months together really so you imagine another four years.”
The Matildas’ run at the 2015 World Cup saw victories against Nigeria (2-0) and Brazil (1-0), a draw with Sweden (1-1) and losses in their first and final games – against USA and Japan respectively.
In their semi-final match on Wednesday, Japan will face the winner of today’s match between Canada and England.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tony Abbott—or his fact-checker, rather—has managed to make a gaffe in a scripted speech today, in a message to the Matildas. “Australia has never made a World Cup football quarter-final before,” the PM said.
The Matildas, have, naturally, made it to two quarter finals before – in the most recent World Cups of 2011 and 2007.
Lead image by Kevin C. Cox via Getty.