Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Belo Horizonte: Head coach Alen Stajcic has hailed his Australia players after they were agonisingly knocked out on penalties by Brazil at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
The Matildas were beaten 7-6 on spot kicks by the host nation after the two teams had failed to find the net during 120 minutes of pulsating action.
Brazil captain Marta and 2014 AFC Women’s Player of the Year Katrina Gorry both missed their attempts from twelve yards, before Brazil custodian Barbara saved Alanna Kennedy’s effort to deny Stajcic’s charges a first ever Olympic semi-final appearance.
"We're all gutted," Stajcic told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"The players showed an amazing amount of courage, resilience and tenacity.
"We didn't dominate the game technically or tactically. Though with all those other attributes, we nullified Brazil to a large extent and created chances of our own.
"That was one of the best efforts I think I've seen from an Australian sporting team. Unfortunately, it's courage in the face of defeat.
"Nothing else matters other than the result, and we pulled up just short," he concluded.
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