Socceroos captain Mark Milligan and coach Graham Arnold were among the ecstatic Australian support watching the Matildas’ stunning comeback victory over Brazil on Friday morning (AEST).
The Matildas recorded one of the most remarkable results in FIFA Women’s World Cup history against their South American rivals, recovering from a two-goal first-half deficit to win 3-2 in Montpellier.
It is only the second time in World Cup history that a team has come from two goals down to win a match in regulation time, an achievement which underlined the team spirit and never-say-die attitude of the Matildas.
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And Australian skipper Milligan – who travelled from Scotland to France to view the encounter – saw first-hand the unity and hunger of Ante Milicic’s side when he joined the squad for dinner at the team’s hotel after the match, where the Matildas delivered a rousing rendition of their team song.
“That [the team song] sums up their passion,” Milligan told www.matildas.com.au.
“You saw it on the field tonight, that willingness to go that extra mile for each other.
“Even though they were the better team at the end of the day they were down 2-0 so it took a lot of heart and courage to come back and I guess that at dinner just sums up what they are about.”
Milligan added: “I think everything that these girls are getting at the moment they are earning for themselves.
"It was a good chance for my girls to come down and see them play and see some of their sporting role models.
“The way that they go about things is wonderful and I was glad that I could bring them to see that.”
But despite the 33-year-old’s wealth of experience at world football’s biggest event, Milligan will not offer counsel to the Matildas. Instead, the versatile midfielder backed the squad to blaze their own trail through the tournament – continuing with Wednesday morning’s final Group C clash with Jamaica in Grenoble.
“I thought they (the Matildas) were wonderful and they definitely deserved the three points tonight,” Milligan said.
“I think they were very good, and I think they are building into the tournament nicely.
“They are a wonderful team and they have got a very good mix at the moment. As I say, they deserved everything tonight and I think they will go a long way in this tournament. As far as advice that I can give, it is going be a special moment, so they just need to enjoy the ride."
World Cup France 2019™ – Group C – Next Australia match
Jamaica v Australia
Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
Kick-off: 5.00am AEST (9.00pm local time, Tuesday 18 June)
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