Our Attack Did Well, We Lost Many Second Balls To Nigeria – Australia coach Gustavsson

Australia coach Tony Gustavsson was disappointed following his team’s 3-2 loss to the Super Falcons of Nigeria at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup.

After starting their campaign with a 1-0 win against Northern Ireland, Australia were eyeing an early qualification for the Round of 16 with a victory over Nigeria, and the Maltidas were the favourites going into Thursday’s Group B clash in Brisbane.

Aside from being ranked 30 places ahead of the Super Falcons, the Aussies were also playing in front of their vociferous fans and the odds were further stacked against Nigeria after the tournament co-hosts drew the first blood late in the first half.

However, nine-time African champions, Nigeria, came back and turned the game on its head with a 3-2 win.

Gustavsson is disappointed because his girls knew what to expect from Nigeria, but one key weakness worked against them, as their chances of progressing into the knockout phase is now threatened.

“All three goals they scored is us losing second balls. We knew that was going to be massive in this game.”

“Second ball was going to be key, and unfortunately tonight, it cost us three goals,” Gustavsson lamented during his post-match assessment.

Tony Gustavsson however, refused to blame his strikers following the absence of Sam Kerr and Mary Fowler.

“We said we’re always going to focus on the players we have available and a lot of people were worried about our attack tonight without them [Sam Kerr and Mary Fowler] on the park, but we scored two goals. We had some really, really brilliant attacking sequences,” Gustavsson said after the game.

”We moved the ball fast…we saw a more fluid attacking game and created more. We were really dangerous on set plays – I can’t believe we didn’t score on a set play earlier.”

Now third on the log behind Nigeria and Canada, Australia badly need to get it right in Monday’s final group game against the reigning Olympic Champions, Canada.

Credit: Premium Times Nigeria

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