It is fun being a Canadian in Australia and watching their national team – The Matildas- finish in top spot for their trip to Rio’s Olympic Games. I love soccer and while I am backing our Canadian team, I will be admiring the skills of every qualifying female team.
This is the fourth trip to Australia for my wife, Trish and I. We love the green and gold colors of their athletes because both of us are sports fans.
The Matildas have recently been playing in their Asia division. While the Matildas have gained top spot by being unbeaten, it was wonderful to watch the courageous and skillful female players from Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, North Korea and China. I say courageous because the Matildas have a height and weight advantage of smaller Asian players. This does not take away the great skills of the Aussies.
The Matildas have concluded their successful Rio Olympic Games campaign with a 1-1 draw against China, ensuring Australia finished Asia’s qualifiers in top spot.The Matildas had won their first four qualifiers following victories over Japan (3-1), Vietnam (9-0), Korea Republic (2-0) and DPR Korea (2-1).
China scored on 16 minutes as Ma Xiaoxu directed a perfect header home amid wet and slippery conditions.
Australia made numerous changes from the side which defeated North Korea. The match came alive in the dying minutes with Van Egmond hitting a spectacular 30-metre drive into the top corner to score with just five minutes remaining.
The Matildas have represented Australia at the FIFA Women’s World Cup on five occasions and at the Olympic Games twice. Australia is ranked ninth in the world by FIFA.
To all professional and non-professional soccer players – Good luck. You are an inspiration to your country and to young girls.