Matildas confident ahead of Jamaica clash


“Obviously everyone wants to play,” she said.

“I don’t think I have ever seen anyone put their hand up saying they don’t want to play. People will want to play injured if that was the case.”

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The 24-year-old has an enormous amount of experience for one so young as this will be her third World Cup.

Whereas in the past the Matildas might have travelled more in hope than expectation, now they are full of self belief that they can win the tournament.

“Yeah I think the biggest difference is that we feel this is our time and this is our World Cup.

“With previous ones we have had a bit of a younger team and less experience.

“That feeling of being knocked out is not a good feeling. We know the team we have and our potential and that’s where the difference is here and there is the belief within the team that we can win this.”

Not even the prospect of an early sudden death encounter with tournament favourites France – should Australia only finish third in the group when the final fixtures are played out – holds any fears for Foord.

“Not really no, that’s a massive game. I would love to play in a game like that. They are the games we live for.

“There would be other teams that you might want to face first, but if that’s how it panned out, that’s how it panned out.

“I just think we will play and let that worry about itself. Our full focus is on Jamaica and however that happens will determine other things, but that is out of your control.”

So there is no mathematician in the squad working out the various possibilities then?

“I will tell you who it’s not going to be and it’s me. I wouldn’t even have that conversation with someone because I wouldn’t understand.”

What Foord does understand is how to score and she scored her first World Cup goal against Brazil.

“To do it coming back from 2-0, the excitement and all those emotions were going to be there.

“It was almost a sigh of relief for us to know our World Cup journey is still alive.

” It just shows the character of the team, to be able to pick it up and come back with the win.

“At the end of the day to get one is nice, but again I wouldn’t have been happy if I had scored and we had lost. I am just stoked that we won.”

She, along with her teammates, admits that Jamaica is something of an unknown quantity.

They have, however, lost both their games heavily – 3-0 to Brazil and 5-0 to Italy – so the pressure is on the Matildas to beat them easily and rack up their goal difference, which could make the difference between finishing first and third in the group.

“I haven’t looked too much into them yet.

“But they are a young team and they have a lot of quick players and they have quite a few Americans that we play with in the US.

“I don’t think we are going to go out there with the thought that we are going to have to smash Jamaica. We are just going out there to win and at the end of the day what happens after that happens.

“To win the World Cup you have to beat the best teams to get there.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter where you finish in your group, you just have to get through to continue the World Cup dream.”

Michael Lynch is The Age’s chief soccer reporter and also reports on motor sport and horseracing

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