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Football fans SLAM Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson after Australia goes to Canadas

Tired of football fans have expressed frustration with the coaching of Matildas mentor Tony Gustavsson after another underwhelming performance in the squad’s 1-0 defeat to Canada in Brisbane on Saturday.

Failing to capitalize on multiple gilt-edged scoring opportunities, the Matildas were also flattered by the score in some ways, with Canada dominating much of the game and generating a pile of chances of their own.

Australia has won just seven out of 25 games since Gustavsson took charge in September 2020, including the Asian Cup bombing earlier this season – and the Swede’s confusing tactics and selection has sparked the ire of many.

After losing 7-0 to Spain in June – Matildas’ worst result in over 25 years – the call for the ax grew louder; and are only strengthened after losing Saturday with less than a year to go until Australia hosts the Women’s World Cup.

 

An animated Tony Gustavsson calls out to the players during Australia's 1-0 defeat to Canada

An animated Tony Gustavsson calls out to the players during Australia’s 1-0 defeat to Canada

Australian skipper Sam Kerr expresses her frustration at the loss of Matildas

 

Australian skipper Sam Kerr expresses her frustration at the loss of Matildas

Prominent football pundit Lucy Zelic said she was ‘still not convinced by Gustavsson’ after the loss, while one fan wrote ‘there must be a serious problem with coaching’ given the talent Australia has at their disposal.

Others were more wary, with one disapproving of Gustavsson’s “junk tactics,” while another said his method “draged Matildas from real contenders to tournament participants.”

More than 25,000 rowdy fans flocked to Suncorp Stadium on Saturday to watch the Matildas; but had to leave disappointed despite the entertaining affair.

Canada took a 1-0 lead at halftime thanks to a stunning strike from Adriana Leon just 10 minutes into the game that found the top corner of the net.

Canadian striker Adriana Leon celebrates her stunning goal through the outstretched fingertips of Australian goalkeeper Lydia Williams

 

Canadian striker Adriana Leon celebrates her stunning goal through the outstretched fingertips of Australian goalkeeper Lydia Williams

Three strong saves from Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan saw the women in red retain the lead, despite Matildas skipper Sam Kerr sure to score multiple times.

After the break it was end-to-end with Australia giving Canada far too much leeway while in possession, an area of ​​their game they need to improve for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Kerr put in a neat tap on substitute Cortnee Vine in the 83rd minute and went just wide in the 83rd minute as Australia pushed for the equaliser, and the Chelsea superstar again missed in stoppage time when Sheridan headed another header over the crossbar.

Sam Kerr dribbles to the top of the penalty area. The Chelsea superstar had multiple chances against the Canadian defence

 

Sam Kerr dribbles to the top of the penalty area. The Chelsea superstar had multiple chances against the Canadian defence

Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson said defender Charlotte Grant was doing well on Canadian star striker Nichelle Prince overall, but admitted that when the game started, the Matildas was “a little too easy to spot on the counter.”

“We weren’t intense enough in the first half. I think we were much more physical in the second half,” he said after the game.

Gustavsson said Matilda’s ‘never say die’ attitude was evident at the end as Kerr went looking for an equaliser, refusing to believe the team was particularly unattractive.

“Sam is a world class goalscorer and on other days she scores three and everyone is very happy and she is happy,” said Gustavsson.

“It was just one of those days. We need to work on our last pass to prepare her for success.’

Tony Gustavsson is under fire with the Matilda's slump since he took over in 2020

 

Tony Gustavsson is under fire with the Matilda’s slump since he took over in 2020

It was a typical vague post-match press conference from Gustavsson, who keeps his head in the sand when it comes to selection and tactics.

One particularly savvy football fan thinks enough is enough.

“Okay folks, what’s the point of keeping Tony Gustavsson on as Matildas’ coach? What has he done to keep him? The Matildas shouldn’t play so badly at this. Don’t think about an injury to Sam Kerr right now,” the fan wrote on Twitter.

That said, there were of course still plenty of positives for Matildas fans to hold onto.

Rising star Mary Fowler was impressive in the loss of Matildas and showed good energy

 

Rising star Mary Fowler was impressive in the loss of Matildas and showed good energy

The squad was well served by 19-year-old midfielder Mary Fowler, who was on the ball the whole time, while quarterback general Katrina Gorry was also excellent, with her passes opening opportunities for the attacker.

Gorry, who took a year off in 2021 to have daughter Harper, has proved a constant threat and the veteran will be crucial to the side’s World Cup chances.

Unfortunately, the Matildas lost key defender Alanna Kennedy to a leg injury before half-time and was replaced by Aivi Luik.

Young Matildas rising star Cortnee Vine reacts after missing a shot on target during side's loss to Canada

 

Young Matildas rising star Cortnee Vine reacts after missing a shot on target during side’s loss to Canada

The silky central defender is believed to have suffered a groin injury.

With 320 days to go until the World Cup kicks off, Gustavsson has indicated consistency and continuity in the team lineup will be key as he builds the side down to be at their best when the crunch games are underway.

Two of them – forward Caitlin Foord and defender Steph Catley – told Channel 10 before kick-off that they hoped to be available for the second clash with Canada in Sydney on Tuesday.

 

Source: Dailymail

 

 

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