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Australia must stay humble after England upset: Coach


Australia coach Tony Gustavsson has praised his players for using “head and heart” to snap England’s 30-match unbeaten streak but cautioned them to remain humble in the leadup to the Women’s World Cup on home soil.

Led by a goal and an assist by captain Sam Kerr, the injury-hit Matildas upset European champions England 2-0 in a friendly in London on Tuesday, drawing rave reviews in Australia’s newspapers.

“We had 10 injuries going into this game and there could be a lot of excuses not to perform. But that’s not what this team is about,” Gustavsson told reporters.

“The heart that lives in this team – but then combining that heart with head, meaning the discipline and the tactical execution … That combination between head and heart is what makes me really proud.”

Australia bounced back from a shock 1-0 loss to Scotland on Friday, with Kerr rested for the team’s first defeat in eight games.

Australia defended well against England and the clean sheet was the result of a “very clear plan”.

“They have a lot of weapons,” said Swede Gustavsson of the hosts.

“If you don’t defend as a team, you get exposed, like we did a couple of times in the middle of the second half.

“It wasn’t perfect, but it was close enough.”

Also Read | Injuries leave Canada with questions 100 days from FIFA Women’s World Cup

Australian media said home fans could now dare to dream of winning the World Cup but Kerr was emphatic that the England result should be taken with a “grain of salt”.

Gustavsson agreed with his captain.

“We need to stay very, very humble,” he said.

“Sometimes you’re not as bad as people say you are when you lose, but you’re not as good as people say you are when you win, either.

“We know on any given day, we might not have the best team, but we can beat the best teams.”

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