With each match the Matildas play at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the stakes are higher and the pressure intensifies.
But defender Ellie Carpenter isn’t feeling the heat ahead of the Matildas do-or-die Round of 16 clash against Norway on Sunday morning (AEST).
“I feel like us as a team have been in so many pressure moments before in major tournaments like the Olympics and the last World Cup,” Carpenter told reporters in Nice.
“I think as a team we are very prepared, and we know what is ahead of us.
“It is going to be a very tough game against Norway, but we know what we need to do and I think we are ready for the moment.
“We’re into the knockout rounds now and we need to go into every game knowing that it needs to be a 10 out of 10 match.
“We need to bring our football every game, every single one of us on the pitch and on the bench needs to be at 100%.”
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Carpenter, 19, has started all three of Australia’s games in France so far and has been one of the standout performers down the right flank.
Her marauding runs from fullback have been a regular outlet for the Matildas attack, especially her combination with Hayley Raso.
“Me and Hayley link up really well. Obviously knowing each other from [NWSL club] Portland [Thorns] as well helps,” Carpenter said.
“I love playing behind her and I think we link up very well.
“[Raso] coming on against Jamaica, sparked that [third] goal and I really hope our partnership can continue [against Norway].”
While believing the Matildas have improved with every performance so far in France, Carpenter says the team must tighten up a couple of things defensively against the world’s 12-ranked nation.
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Now into the knockout phase, the Matildas know matches are likely to go down to the wire and are prepared to go the distance if need be.
“It’s always hard to prepare for extra-time and penalties. No one wants to play 120 minutes of football,” the Canberra United star said.
“But we have to prepare for that and we will. With penalties we’ve been working on that for the last three or four months, so we’re very prepared.
“As a group we know what we need to produce on [Sunday]. All our focus and preparation is going to come out [against Norway].”
World Cup France 2019™ – Round of 16 - Next Australia match
Norway v Australia
Date: Sunday, 23 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade de Nice, Nice
Kick-off: 5.00am AEST (9.00pm local time, Saturday 22 June)
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