The Westfield Matildas are aiming high ahead of Friday’s (AEDT) international friendly clash with the USA in Denver, Colorado.
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ rapidly approaching, Australia’s hosts are currently ranked No.1 in the world by the sport’s governing body: making them a target for the teams jostling for position below them.
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Australia sits at No.6 in the latest FIFA rankings. It is a great achievement for the Green and Gold, but Melbourne City midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight – who will be playing for Seattle Reign in the upcoming NWSL campaign – insists she and her teammates have their eyes firmly on the pinnacle.
“This is a really important game for us, playing against the world No.1,” she said. “It’s a really big occasion.
We spoke a bit about presence, and being ready to compete against America – putting our presence on the field and feeling like we should be in their position, we should be world No.1.
“[This match] is vital in our preparation [for the World Cup]. We’ve only got a handful of games left together as a team, so this game – especially being against the best team in the world – we couldn’t really ask for better preparation.”
Talking of aiming high, Friday’s game will kick off at energy-sapping high altitude in Denver, nicknamed the ‘Mile-high city’ because of its elevation above sea level.
“I was just saying to Aivi [Luik] that I thought the ball was dropping quicker, but she thought I was having her on, she didn’t believe it.
“But you definitely feel it in your lungs, it’s a little bit harder to breathe [at the high altitude]. Hopefully it doesn’t have an impact [in the game].
“I just came in yesterday. The majority of the team has been here since Thursday so they’ve had a couple of days together.
“But now the whole squad is finally together. It’s a really good feeling. We’ve only been apart for a couple of weeks now, but to be together again is really good for us.”
Upcoming Match | Westfield Matildas
United States of America vs. Westfield Matildas (international friendly)
Date: Friday, 5 April 2019 (AEDT)
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colorado
Kick-off: 12.30pm Friday, 5 April 2019 (AEDT); 7.30pm Thursday, 4 April (local);Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS 503 and SBS Television, streamed on theworldgame.com.au