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The Matildas' dreams and ours now lie with the Olympics

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Tournaments usually start with great hope and end with recrimination. France 2019 was unique in that it did the opposite. We can only cry with the players. Their hopes are ours. Their dreams we wish for them. The face of Caitlin Foord, as fierce a competitor as Australia ever knew, talking about lost dreams after the match, teary eyed, is our face. Sam Kerr’s feeling of letting down the nation after her penalty cuts to the heart.


When the national team wins, the world is a wonderful place. When it loses, the nation mourns. Not as we mourn the treatment of vulnerable people, refugees, incarcerated Indigenous kids, the truly important ones, but rather the lost chance to feel the ecstasy of achievement, of unity. This loss was heartbreaking, and it will take time for everyone to process the painful reality that we did not show the best that we were capable of. Australia fought back in matches but even the famous Matildas' spirit can only stretch so far.

Congratulations to Norway. They were, overall, better than us in many ways. The Matildas truly never say die, their spirit is incredible, but Norway’s football was, at times, exquisite and a level to which we aspire. The penalty should have stood, and the red card was harsh but they are a very fine football team, and in Maren Mjelde and Caroline........

© Brisbane Times