- Rampant Canada outclassed poor Matildas
- 5-0 result will anger many fans in Australia
- Depth a real concern ahead of Paris Olympics
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson was left searching for answers after his ‘experimental’ team was hammered 5-0 by Canada on Saturday.
While key figures such as Mary Fowler, Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord, Ellie Carpenter and Katrina Gorry were all named on the bench, it was Australia’s clear lack of depth which will concern the Swede with the Paris Olympics looming.
Nichelle Prince opened the scoring for the hosts after just 10 minutes, before then grabbing a second moments before halftime.
Cloe Lacasse, Simi Awujo and Adriana Leon piled on the misery in the second half after the trio all found the back of the net, with the Matildas appearing to be chasing shadows at times, such was the gulf in class between the two teams.
The result also somewhat atoned for Australia outclassing the Canadians 4-0 during the group stages of the World Cup back in July on home soil.
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson was humbled after his ‘experimental’ team was hammered by Canada on Saturday
Mary Fowler started on the bench, and failed to have an impact when she entered the fray after 63 minutes
And even though it was a friendly, Matildas fans were quick to vent their frustration at the one-sided result on social media.
‘Tony [Gustavsson] you have got to be kidding, your starting line up resembled an under-21 side. Against 11 seasoned Canadian professionals…we got what we deserved,’ fumed one supporter.
Another posted: ‘No point experimenting with the line up if we aren’t actually going to play any [decent] football.
A third weighed in with: ‘This is just embarrassing.’
Gustavsson’s squad have the chance to atone when they again play Canada in Vancouver on December 6.
It promises to be a memorable occasion, with the Canadians to farewell one of the greatest footballers of all-time in Christine Sinclair.
A 14-time Canada Soccer Player of the Year, Sinclair has captained her nation since 2006, played in six World Cups, 10 CONCACAF tournaments and four Olympic Games, winning gold at the Tokyo Games in 2021.