Matildas at the FIFA Women's World Cup
Matilda Jo Peters gives us her take on the FIFA Women's World Cup
11th September - 1 sleep till first game
The World Cup has kicked off but it-s still missing the most important showing of one particular team - the Matildas of course!
It-s been an eventful lead up to our first game. Most importantly the “flano” (flannelette shirt) dinner party was a successful fashion showing except for some spoilsports like myself who forgot to pick up the $4 special at Lowes.
I was, however, involved in the formal welcoming function with 3 other team mates. We were in for quite a taste of the Chinese culture sitting down to a rotating smorgasbord of unknown cuisine. I chose to sample some before knowing what it was but when I was told the grey rubbery strips were in fact pig-s stomach, I took more caution. I was very impressed with Cheryl though, who doesn-t usually eat seafood but tried the fried eel, and was even braver to eat the scariest dish of all - duck tongue. The Chinese dignitary at our table was quite happy to take our share as I was amazed at the ease with which he munched down one tongue after another.
Also worth mentioning was that for the first time, we had a seminar to explain the interpretations on the laws of the game. “This is red card!” “This is simulation!” The European official began laying down the law but after some good old dry Aussie humour from one of our team comedians Alicia, the former FIFA ref seemed to relax and she was able to receive the more serious comments as well. “That-s harsh!” “That-s soft!” It was a safe place for the debaters to have their say as well without the yellow card that would usually be handed out if on the field. The session ended with our suggested refereeing accreditation being turned down but we were grateful for the education nevertheless.
It was exciting seeing the tournament finally under way although, the opening game was embarrassing for Argentina who got smacked 11-0 by the Germans. The next game definitely redeemed our game-s pride where the usually dominating USA struggled to hold North Korea to a draw. This was a delight to see, besides enjoying the USA being humbled for once, the memory of losing our Olympic qualification to the Koreans still cut deep and somehow it seemed to ease the pain knowing that we had lost to truly one of the best teams in the world.
So now the focus turns to the green and gold girls. I can-t wait to take the field with my team mates and strut our stuff. It-s going to be a tough encounter with Ghana but I feel like we can do it. We-re ready. This is our time.