Australia coach Tony Gustavsson was not impressed with every moment of every game but was delighted that the Women’s World Cup co-host was developing a winning habit after sealing a Cup of Nations triumph on Wednesday.
Jamaica succumbed 3-0 on a wet evening in Newcastle to extend Australia’s winning streak to seven games and make it three victories out of three for the host in a tournament also featuring Spain and the Czech Republic.
Swede Gustavsson had arranged the friendly tournament to replicate as closely as possible Australia’s group at the World Cup, where the Matildas will play Ireland, Nigeria and Canada.
“The one thing that we did learn is what it feels to win and we can’t discard that,” Gustavsson said.
“It wasn’t a brilliant game tonight. It wasn’t a brilliant first half against Czech Republic, it wasn’t a brilliant second half against Spain. But tournament football is about finding a way to win, grinding through, believe in what you’re doing. And the other thing we can realise when it comes to tournament play is that we can score goals and we can score goals in different ways.”
Long-range strikes from Katrina Gorry and Caitlin Foord and an Alex Chidiac effort from closer to goal gave Gustavsson’s largely settled side a comfortable victory over the Jamaicans in front of 9,000 fans at Newcastle International Sports Centre.
A fourth clean sheet in their last five games also pleased Gustavsson, despite a sometimes sluggish performance in Australia’s third match in a week following the 4-0 win over the Czechs and a 3-2 victory against Spain.
“This doesn’t come around too often, the chance to win a trophy and lift it up, to take that opportunity to get that feeling what it feels to win,” Gustavsson said.
“I can’t wait to thank the players and really embrace that moment and feeling of winning, because it’s addictive.”
Next up for Australia is a trip to London to face European champion England in April. The World Cup, which is being co-hosted by New Zealand, starts on July 20.
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