Matildas chasing Asian Cup success

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The Matildas are desperate to taste success in a major tournament for the first time since 2010.

Nothing less than Asian Cup glory will satisfy a Matildas squad desperate to win a major trophy for the first time in 12 years.

The pressure is on the Matildas as they start their 2022 Asian Cup campaign against Indonesia un Mumbai on Friday night.

Despite a fourth-placed finish at last year’s Olympic Games, the Matildas have been largely unconvincing – particularly defensively – under Swedish coach Tony Gustavsson, whose all-out attacking philosophy has left his team too often exposed.

However, there remains a strong belief in the Matildas camp that they are good enough to win the Asian Cup, a trophy they last held in 2010,

“We as a team have our own standards and expectations in house and among each other,” Matildas attacker Kyah Simon said.

“You play in tournaments to win them, that’s no different to this tournament as it has been for any previous tournament or any game that we play and represent our country in.

“I don’t think we need to put any extra pressure on ourselves from external sources.

“We’ve got our goals in house that we want to achieve, and that’s to win … we want to win the Asian Cup.”

Simon, 30, was part of the Matildas’ 2010 Asian Cup-winning squad, along with a handful

of other players – including current skipper Sam Kerr – in Australia’s latest squad.

“It’s been a long time between wickets,” said Tottenham attacker Simon, who vowed that the Matildas would not get distracted by next year’s Women’s World Cup, which Australia is co-hosting with New Zealand.
“There is the home World Cup but there is so much football between now and then, and we’re just focusing on the now and that’s here in India for the Asian Cup.

“We’re focusing on the first game on Friday. You can’t look too far ahead.

“We’re taking it each game as it comes, and that’s our first challenge.”

Simon said winning another major trophy with the Matildas would be a reward for the tough times she has endured throughout her career.

“It’s no secret that I’ve had my fair share of injuries and been in and out of the squad over the course of my career,” she said.

“It makes it all the more sweeter when I do get the opportunity to represent our country and wear the green and gold. I definitely don’t take that for granted.

“I’ve been a part of this team for 14 years or so … it really does fly by.”

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