VALENCIENNES, FRANCE —
Veteran forward Lisa De Vanna says she was “angry” and “frustrated” after the Matildas’ 2-1 loss to Italy in their World Cup opener.
Australia’s campaign has been put on the back foot by the upset loss, with Ante Milicic’s side now realistically needing three points against Brazil in Montpellier to be in a good position to progress from the group stage.
De Vanna said winning the opening game would have given the team confidence going forward, but they would now have to deliver big-time going forward.
“I’m not happy at the moment, I’m frustrated, angry,” De Vanna told reporters post-match.
“It’s important to get three points but not just the three points, to give us confidence for the rest of the tournament.
“I guess now it’s a big hurdle for us and we have to rise. There’s no bigger team to do that against than Brazil.”
De Vanna is at her fourth World Cup in France, and has been through the experience of losing the opening game before — including in 2015 when Australia copped a loss to eventual champions the USA before making the quarter-finals.
She said the players would simply have to “dig deep” to deliver a result against Brazil.
“When I was doing my ice bath I was thinking about all the games I’ve played at a World Cup, and I think besides Ghana we’ve lost our first games,” she said.
“But you want to finish on top of your group, it’s an easier route to what we want to do. We just have to dig deep and figure out how we can execute our game plan against Brazil.”
The Matildas struggled to find their groove up front at times against Italy, creating chances without producing clear-cut scoring opportunities.
De Vanna said she felt the team was rushing its decision-making and struggling to gel at times.
“I just think we couldn’t keep the ball at times,” she said.
“We rushed our decision at times, and for the strike force we have we’re not quite gelling just yet.
“Once we can get that on the mark we’ll be quite dangerous up front.
“Right now we just can’t seem to find the click.”
Post-match, there was plenty of scrutiny on Ante Milicic’s side, and the FFA’s decision to replace former coach Alen Stajcic five months out from the World Cup.
De Vanna said she tended to avoid social media — and would continue to do so after the loss.
“I try not to go on social media because I’ve always been someone who doesn’t like people judging me when they don’t know me,” De Vanna said.
“So I’m very limited.
“But for the girls, are they going to read this stuff? Is it going to affect them? I don’t go on social media. Especially now, no way.”
De Vanna said she felt there hadn’t been a big change in Australia’s system since Milicic’s appointment — it was more a matter of the team finding its confidence and rolling on from there.
“I don’t there’s too much of a change in our system. I think we’re just unsure of it,” she said.
“Going into it and sort of guessing, ‘should I go or shouldn’t I go?’ Once we can find that ‘just go and back yourself’ because we’re a very confident team.
“We’ve got big individuals who can win games, it’s just getting them to feel like they can do it without being unsure.”