In the aftermath of the Young Matildas‘ loss to Brazil on Sunday, Impetus‘ Kieran Yap heard from Bryleeh Henry whilst Ben Gilby listened to Hana Lowry‘s take on the game and thoughts ahead of tomorrow’s must-win final group game with Spain (16/8/22).
Above: Bryleeh Henry in action for the Young Matildas in their opening game at the U20 World Cup against Costa Rica. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Football Australia/Ann Odong.
In the aftermath of Australia’s 2-0 loss to Brazil, forward Bryleeh Henry was disappointed with the result, but confident it was an opportunity for the Young Matildas to learn and grow from the experience, writes Kieran Yap.
“It’s definitely disappointing,” said Henry. “We definitely wanted to come away with the win. I don’t think anybody wants to lose a game at a World Cup, but there’s a lot of positives we can take from it.
“We learned a lot from that game. We put up a good fight and I’m proud of the girls. No matter the time… we still kept fighting, we still kept trying so I’m proud of the girls. We learn from it and move on to Spain and just do the best we can. It’s a big match and we’re excited for it.”
Australia were kept on the defensive for much of the game against the tournament favorites. The space in midfield and along the flanks that they exploited against Costa Rica was denied by Brazil.
The South American champions pressured the Australian midfield and stopped them facing goal with any time on the ball.
It was a comprehensive performance but not a wasted opportunity according to the promising striker from Western Sydney. “I think that there’s a lot that we can take away from the game. “I think one-v-one battles we definitely needed to be a little bit better in some areas. That’s something to learn from. They are world-class players so that’s just something we have to deal with.”
That is the value of this tournament. Henry has one senior Matildas cap and two full A-League women’s seasons to her name, but the U20 World Cup offers a chance to play opposition that they might not otherwise encounter. For a group of players brimming with potential and talent, this can only be a good thing.
“It’s amazing to be getting exposure against teams like this,” continued Henry. “It’s only going to make us grow and learn from it. The score line was only 2-0, so I’m very proud of the girls and the fight we put up, and how well we did against a world-class opponent.
“I think we can take so much and learn so much (from the game). Yes, we lost but there’s so many positives and learnings we can take…we’re coming for finals.”
Australia still has their destiny in their own hands. Although Brazil have guaranteed qualification from the group, the final group game against Spain is essentially an early knockout match.
The winners of the Under 20 Euros are another huge challenge, but Henry would not have it any other way. The Young Matildas are not intimidated by the occasion, just excited for the opportunity.
“It’s been amazing,” said Henry of her time at the tournament. “It’s amazing to be here and play against different opponents. Spain are Euros champions, Brazil are South American champions. It’s amazing to be getting this experience and I just can’t wait for the rest of it and learn and become the best player I can. The sky’s the limit so I can’t wait to see where this group goes.”
Lowry: “We Refocus And Go Again”
by Ben Gilby
Perth Glory’s Hana Lowry believes that the Young Matildas 2-0 loss to 11-time U20 World Champions Brazil in their last outing on Sunday could stand them in good stead in the future.
The Western Australian youngster revealed that whilst the loss was disappointing, the squad have learned so much about themselves as both a team and individuals from going toe-to-toe with the defending champions, that it will help their development.
“Yeah, look, it was disappointing to lose as we went into the game with a strong belief that we could win,” Lowry admitted. “Credit to Brazil, they have some fantastic players, and I think we struggled against them a bit.”
The midfielder outlined some of the examples of learnings from the encounter that can take her forward in her career: “It was a great experience (facing Brazil), one that not many young Australian players get the chance to do. I take from it the understanding of the quality that we’re up against and where we need to get to as an Australian side. Personally, I know what I need to improve on now to push (forward).
“It’s about understanding how different teams play. I understood now how technically gifted that are – how to defend and how to make an impact. I’ve grown up being out here and it’s a big thing.
“Physically I need to get stronger and tactically adjust. Learning how to adjust to different teams – everyone has a different style.”
Lowry was proud of how the Young Matildas stuck to their guns in the face of Brazilian pressure. “We still tried to play our game, even when they were fully pressing us. Defensively, we conceded two goals, but they created a lot of chances but we stayed composed.”
That composure and learnings since they arrived in Costa Rica are going to be key for the Young Matildas to get the result they need tomorrow to progress from the group stage.
“We stay positive ahead of Spain, we win and we’re through. We are a very resilient group,” Lowry outined. “We can’t dwell on the Brazil result. We refocus and go again.”