Sport Football No rest for Matildas as Jamaica clash looms

No rest for Matildas as Jamaica clash looms

Caitlin Foord is looking ahead with confidence. Photo: Getty
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Matildas striker Caitlin Foord has dismissed any suggestion of Australia putting its feet up before its final World Cup group game with battlers Jamaica.

Australia confront the Reggae Girlz at Grenoble at 5am (AEST) on Wednesday, after a roaring come-from-behind 3-2 win over heavyweights Brazil.

A point will likely be enough to qualify for the knockout rounds, while a big win should send Australia through in one of the top two positions, giving it a more favourable round-of-16 draw.

World Cup first-timers Jamaica has lost its group games 3-0 and 5-0 to Brazil and Italy, respectively, leaving open the door for Matildas coach Ante Milicic to rest players or ease up on the accelerator.

But Foord says the Matildas are thinking full steam ahead.

“Everyone wants to play. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone put their hand up saying they don’t want to play,” she said.

“People will want to play injured.”

Australia can still finish anywhere from top to bottom in its group, with a third-placed finish likely to send the Matildas into an intimidating clash with hosts France at Le Havre.

Foord said Australia would relish that challenge.

“That’s a massive game. I would love to play in a game like that. They are the games we live for,” she said.

“To win the World Cup you have to beat the best teams to get there.

“There would be other teams that you might want to face first, but if that’s how it panned out, that’s how it panned out.

At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter where you finish, you just have to get through to continue the World Cup dream.’’

While the striker has played at three World Cups and won the young player of the tournament award after taking the 2011 event by storm, her goal against Brazil was her first strike at the event.

The strength of her connection with captain Sam Kerr, a childhood friend, has been mooted as pivotal for Australia to make a deep run in France.

“Before this tournament and in the games before, it’s been a while since me and Sammy had played many games together because of our injuries,” Foord said.

“That connection might have got lost a little bit, but there was a bit more against Brazil and it’s going to get stronger as the games go on.”