Matildas credibility has been greatly enhanced: Sermanni

Matildas coach Tom Sermanni believes the teams performances at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in China, has greatly enhanced Australia’s credibility in the international women’s football community and sees bright things ahead for the game in this country.

Matildas coach Tom Sermanni believes the teams performances at the FIFA Women-s World Cup in China, has greatly enhanced Australia-s credibility in the international women-s football community and sees bright things ahead for the game in this country.

While he believed last night-s performance against Brazil, didn-t do the team any justice, overall he believes everyone has sat up and taken notice of how the Matildas have performed at this World Cup and gained respect in the process.

“When we went into the tournament, they talked about how the Matildas have improved a bit, but it seemed more in tokenism,” Sermanni said, as the team headed to the airport to leave China.

“I think once they saw us play, they realised that the team has come a long way and to be fair, it wasn-t just because we got some decent results in this tournament that captured their attention, it was actually how the team performed.

“As a result we have earned credibility with the wider public back home and of the international women-s football community, I think.”

Sermanni acknowledged that he thought it was the teams worst performance at the tournament, but the fact they still went close to winning, meant there was plenty of positives to come out of it.

“I thought last night-s performance, was probably our poorest performance in the tournament. Brazil were worthy winners and they were the best team we had come up against by a long way in the tournament.

“I felt we never got into our rhythm of play at any time, but when you consider that and the fact we managed to come back into the game and give ourselves a chance of winning it, says a lot for this team.

“I came away from it with a lot of positives, because it showed we can go out there and match it with the teams that are ranked above us and when we are having our rough days, we are able to hang in there and battle away; keep in the game and give ourselves a chance of winning.”

Asked how the players were feeling, Sermanni was circumspect, saying there was a mix of disappointment and satisfaction.

“They-re okay actually; very tired,” Sermanni said. “They were disappointed after the game, but they weren-t devastated. I think they felt they belonged here.

“When you get to this stage of the tournament and playing against a world class side, you don-t quite know if you are going to win or lose, so I think there was disappointment, but also a sense of satisfaction.”

Two potential tuning points came within minutes of each other, but in both instances, Cheryl Salisbury been forced off with a calf injury and the penalty to Brazil, Sermanni didn-t have major concerns with their impact.

Salisbury, the captain and hero against Canada, broke down with a calf injury in the 20th minute and was replaced by Kate McShea, but didn-t feel it a massive blow for the team.

“I know its terrible to probably say this, but I don-t think so,” he said, when asked if the Matildas her leadership at the back after she went off. “That-s the good thing about this squad; players have come in; we-ve had some setbacks with injuries and whatever to key players and other players have come in and done exceptionally well.

“Kate McShea came on last night and did an outstanding job and realistically apart from that first 10-15 minutes, I thought we defended exceptionally well.”

As for the penalty, Sermanni had no problems with it.

“I have no complaints with the penalty. At first I thought it was inside and it was a dead-set penalty, but I saw the replay after the game and while the first contact was probably outside, with the speed it all happened, it looked inside the box.

“So realistically, it was one of those where you can-t blame the referee.”

As for who he thinks will win the tournament, Sermanni believes that Germany is the team to beat and believes that Brazil just might be their opponent in the final.

“I think Germany are looking the most impressive at the tournament so far. They have gradually got stronger as the tournament has gone on.

“I think the Brazil will give the US a fright in the semi finals, so I wouldn-t be surprised if its Germany and Brazil in the final.”