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Matildas v United States Preview: Bronze Medal Match

Author imageAOC05 Aug 2021
Australia's players gather in a huddle after their loss during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women's semi-final football match between Australia and Sweden at Yokohama International Stadium in Yokohama on August 2

History awaits the Matildas as they take on the United States of American in the bronze medal match at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium.

For Australia, they will be chasing football's first medal – men's or women's – at an Olympic Games.

The last time an Australian football team was in a bronze medal match was the Olyroos at Barcelona 1992.

Australia will be looking to dust themselves off following disappointment in the semi-finals where the Matildas were defeated 1-0 by Sweden, despite a quality performance.

"There's still a disappointment not to play for a gold medal but that disappointment has turned into determination to go home with a medal," said Gustavsson.

"We're going to leave everything out there. These players have shown in every game that they don't hesitate to play the attack-minded football that we want to play."

In team news, defender Ellie Carpenter will miss the clash with suspension after being issued a late red card in the semi-final. However, the rest of the squad will be available for selection against the World Champions.

Both teams know each other well with many players having lined up together at club level.

Australia and the United States have a long history and the last time the two sides met at the Olympic Games it ended in draws: during the group stages here in Tokyo (0–0) and at Athens 2004 (1–1).

This time around, a draw is not possible and the winner will go home from Japan with a medal. Gustavsson believes that the team is ready to make more history for Australia.

"The commitment and the inner drive to leave it out there is going to be massive," he said.

"I also want to go back to our beliefs; belief in ourselves, believe in the game plan, belief in each other. Playing our own game is going to be the number one reason why we step off that field proud of ourselves."

Kick off for Australia against the United States is at 6.00pm AEST, and you can watch live on 7plus.

Ann Odong

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