Australia have defeated the Samba Queens 2-1 in a pulsating friendly to square their two-match series.
“What coaching drama?”
Matildas captain Kate Gill delivered the line with a grin on her face after her side squared the two-match series with Brazil thanks to a 2-1 victory at the Queensland Sports & Athletics Centre on Wednesday night.
The alleged rift between coach Hesterine de Reus and the players faded into the background with the victory over world No.6 South Americans.
The triumph, thanks to Michelle Heyman’s 81st minute strike and a Gill first-half header, was a huge confidence-boost for the world No.11 Matildas ahead of the defence of their Asian Cup crown next month in Vietnam.
But it came at a cost, with classy midfielder Tameka Butt stretchered off the field with a right ankle injury in the 65th minute with the game delicately poised at 1-1.
De Reus said Butt, who was one of Australia’s best along with fellow midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight, would undergo scans on Thursday to determine the extent of the damage.
“She’s in good spirits, as good as she can be,” Gill said.
“We’re not quite sure what the damage is but I’m sure she’ll be fine.”
The embattled coach again said she had “absolutely” no doubt she’d be in charge of the Matildas for the Asian Cup, despite widespread media reports of a player and staff revolt against the 52-year-old Dutch disciplinarian.
Football Federation Australia has launched an investigation into de Reus’s coaching methods.
“I’m aware of the things that have happened outside and I’m aware that FFA is taking notice of the documents that are circulating but I didn’t get into it. I just did my job,” she said.
On football matters, de Reus said she believed the Matildas could beat any nation based on their superb performances against the Samba Queens, who equalised shortly after halftime through Tamires Gomes.
“I think this team can win every match,” the coach said.
“They’re young, very skilful and they have a fantastic winning attitude. If they decide they want to win, they can beat every opponent.”
De Reus should be concerned not only about her job, but the wasted opportunities from the Matildas.
They created a multitude of chances over the two matches but scored only two goals.
“We would like to score those (goals) but it’s a credit to the girls that we’re creating chances. But it would be nice to finish them off,” Gill said.