The Matildas asserted their dominance on the global stage in riveting fashion as they triumphed over Iran in their first Olympic qualifier match on Thursday, October 26.
With their sights set on the prestigious Paris Olympics, the Matildas dominated the match to secure a 2-0 victory.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of 18,798 at HBF Park, Ellie Carpenter broke the deadlock in the 19th minute with a brilliantly executed goal.
At the 65-minute mark, with the scoreline still hanging precariously at 1-0, Matildas’ coach, Tony Gustavsson, made a strategic move that would prove to be a game-changer. He introduced fresh legs in the form of star players Sam Kerr, Steph Catley, and Mary Fowler, breathing new life into the team’s attack.
The trio wasted no time in making their mark on the game. In a stunning display of coordination and skill, Catley and Fowler executed a seamless one-two, creating an opportunity that Kerr capitalised on with finesse. With a precise tap-in, Kerr doubled Australia’s lead in the 78th minute, sending the fans into raptures of joy.
The final whistle blew, marking a spectacular 2-0 victory for the Matildas in their first Olympic qualifier match.
— CommBank Matildas (@TheMatildas) October 26, 2023
Following the match, Carpenter shared her thoughts on scoring the first goal of the match while commending her team’s hard work.
“It’s always great to score for your country,” she said.
“I was very pleased with it and tried my best for the team. We knew it was going to be hard to break that block of Iran, and we just knew we needed to score goals and get the three points, so I think we had a job to do and we did that tonight.
“We stayed focused, we knew what we had to do, we knew it was going to be a game a little bit like this [stop-start], but I think we stayed very professional and got the job done.”
While Carpenter lauded her team’s display, Gustavsson had mixed feelings about the match, pointing to limited preparation time and challenges with player availability, leading to what he described as the team being a bit “rusty”.
“This might have been one of the most challenging preparations that I’ve had with this team,” he explained.
Gustavsson did, however, highlight Fowler’s performance in the match, describing it as “mind-blowingly good”.
“I think she was best, she was so good, which means we have another tool in the wide areas,” he said.
While Gustavon had mixed feelings about his team’s performance, fans were full of praise for their home side.
Up the Tillies ??
— Rhys Hennessy (@RhysHennessy3) October 26, 2023
Well Done Matilda’s ???❤️❤️❤️
Commiserations to Iran.
— RatFinky (@de32344) October 26, 2023
— Exco||₿|| (@ExcoFunds) October 26, 2023
Great Game girls ?⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️???????????
— J@ne (@Jane_Mary_P) October 26, 2023
Great game Tillies! Plenty of opportunities so the score could have been alot bigger but a nice win. Bring on Sunday for game 2!
— Matthew #AtHomeYouMustStay Murphy (@MattM_78) October 26, 2023
Onwards to the next qualifier…lets go Matildas ???
— Northstorm (@Northstorm20) October 26, 2023
The Matildas will next face off against the Philippines on Sunday, October 29 at Optus Stadium.