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More to come vow football women

9 August 2016

FOOTBALL: Australia is only just getting started at these Rio Games, so say the football women ahead of tomorrow’s deciding group match against Zimbabwe.

Australia’s football campaign remains delicately poised but nonetheless more positive following Saturday’s 2-2 draw with world number two Germany in São Paulo.

The equation for Australia is now a simple one, defeat Zimbabwe at the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova tomorrow or head home, and it’s a challenge that the team is relishing.

“It’s a massive game for us,” said key midfielder Emily van Egmond.

“Everyone is fully focused towards the game, we have to get a result, we have to win.

“Everything else that happens after that we can focus on after the game, but right now I think it’s the important thing that we look forward to this game.”

Australia are the favourites going into the clash, such is the unheralded nature of Zimbabwe’s very appearance at these Olympic Games.

The Zimbabwean national team was only inaugurated in 2000 and since that time, the team had never qualified for a major women’s tournament until clinching one of Africa’s two qualification spots for these Rio Games.

Furthermore, Australia’s much-improved showing against Germany has reinvigorated hopes in the Australian camp of a potentially historic podium-finish for coach Alen Stajcic’s team.

The business of a result against Zimbabwe remains most relevant however, for a team desperate to show Brazil its full potential.

“We’ve got so much, we’ve got it all in our backpack, we’re just waiting for the bigger games to come,” joked striker Michelle Heyman.

“Pretty much all we have to do is get this win and then, it doesn’t really matter.

“Everyone is in the life and death situation from the next round on, so along as we make it through to that phase, then we’re all good.”

Australia’s final group match against Zimbabwe will take place at Salvador’s Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova on Tuesday. Kick off is at 4pm (Wednesday, 10 August 5am AEST).

Ben Coonan
olympics.com.au

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