The heart, history and determination for the Matildas to beat Brazil is like mine to beat my twin brother in anything while growing up. And probably still now if we were to compete in anything. The extra incentive this time round? We’ve got to find a result. Honestly, it’s time to go scrounging around the underside of the couch for a result right now. Yeah it’s early days, but we’re going to need one.
Much of what goes on between the Matildas and Brazil is well known, so I’m not going to spend ages re-hashing old news. But here’s a quick low down to read pre-game yeah.
BRAZIL THREE THINGS
There is no doubt on a bad day, this is a forward who strikes fear into the hearts of defenders. On a good day? It’s the stuff of nightmares. Backing up from three goals against Jamaica, Christiane will be absolutely humming.
Brazil will always play with their hearts on the line and a desire to win the ball. Whether that’s the initial challenge or the scraps, this is a side who will fight tooth and nail to maintain possession. With this, expect some heat in their challenges and the referee to have a day controlling play.
Against Jamaica, these were the moments Brazil looked the most dangerous. The quick transition out of defence, catching a defence napping. It may be a slightly different task against the Matildas defence, however there is no doubt the Brazilians have a flair at running at defences with the ball and making things move quickly to attack.
HOW THE MATILDAS SHAPE UP
This is probably the most important part in all of this. We’ve seen how the Matildas have struggled against the European sides. How much pressure we’ve put ourselves under with a high line in a game the AR doesn’t raise their flag nearly soon enough. But honestly I want to focus on one thing that has been missing in recent matches, and how hopefully we have a solution here for that. The mongrel and heart in midfield.
First up, by all accounts, Kellond-Knight is back in the fold. A simple addition that changes the complexion of the Matildas midfield in the same way chocolate on a banana changes the fruit from healthy to delicious. KK brings that engine in the midfield, to protect our at times vulnerable defence (all defences get vulnerable, don’t hate) and to be the metronome in our way of passing out of the back.
Secondly, the history between the two sides means the Matildas will be up for the fight. As if the hopes of a nation on your back weren’t enough. To come up against Brazil in a major tournament is the biggest incentive to get to the ball first and tear apart your opponents. It might make for ugly football at times, but I’m down if it means we find our grove and never say die spirit in each and every tackle.
We claim that we can beat the best? It all started with how we won that knockout game against Brazil in 2015. Maybe, just maybe, getting to play them now will bring the Matildas back to the absolute world beaters that we know they are.