- Mary Fowler was a class above for Matildas
- Used as an impact player versus Iran in Perth
- Young gun looked electrifying at times
- Australia’s Olympic qualifying off to a flyer
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson labelled Mary Fowler ‘mind-blowingly good’ following her stunning cameo off the bench in the 2-0 victory over Iran on Thursday night.
In an Olympic qualifier that the Matildas were expected to win comfortably despite resting a glut of stars, Australia only held a slender 1-0 lead on when Gustavsson decided to bring on the reinforcements in the 65th minute.
Superstar Sam Kerr, Fowler and Steph Catley were all introduced – to big effect.
Although it was Kerr who found the back of the net in the 78th minute to seal victory for the Matildas, Fowler was the standout player.
Her deft touches, pinpoint passes and piercing runs caused all sorts of headaches for Iran’s defence.
And Fowler’s one-two pass with Catley that set up Kerr’s goal was magical.
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson labelled Mary Fowler ‘mind-blowingly good’ following her stunning cameo off the bench in the 2-0 victory over Iran on Thursday night
The 20-year-old was introduced in the 65th minute and tore Iran to shreds (pictured)
After the match, Gustavsson revealed that the role he gave Fowler on the night had been inspired by the way Manchester City have been using the 20-year-old.
‘They’ve used Mary Fowler as a wide forward this season, and she has been outstanding in the league,’ Gustavsson said.
‘We said, ‘let’s try her in our environment as well’ and Mary’s performance in those minutes on the left side was just mind-blowingly good.
‘I think she was our best, which means we have another tool now in the wide areas, which is perfect for us.’
Fowler enjoyed a break-out World Cup campaign, and it seems the sky is the limit for the speedy forward.
But Gustavsson made a point of trying to take the pressure off Fowler.
‘She shouldn’t be the one that has to carry this team or take responsibility in that sense,’ Gustavsson said.
‘She should be this young player that is the spark and can just do her thing. ‘Some of the experienced players can carry the pressure.’
The Matildas will be back in action against the Philippines at Optus Stadium on Sunday, and Gustavsson is set to unleash a much stronger starting XI.