The Matildas have kept their World Cup campaign alive with a thrilling comeback win against Brazil, in what’s been dubbed the ‘Miracle of Montpellier’.
Facing a two goal deficit after 38 minutes, the Matildas dragged their way to an improbable 3-2 victory, banking their first points of the tournament in one of Australia’s greatest World Cup wins.
Former Matildas goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri, and occasional Box2Box host Francis Leach, joined Box2Box shortly after the victory.
“It was special, we’ve only seen one other match in the Women’s World Cup where a team had come from a 2-0 deficit to go on and win the match”, said Leach.
“So to do that with the campaign hanging by a thread after conceding two goals… you thought (at 2-0) jeez this is going to be one hell of a mountain to climb, but they found a way”.
Barbieri believes the Brazilians fell victim to the dangerous 2-0 score line, substituting key players and perhaps relaxing a touch.
“We knew at 2-0 they might take the foot off the pedal a bit and thank goodness they did in the last minute of the first half”, she said.
“Caitlyn Foord sneaking an initial goal was a godsend, it just gave them a little bit of a lift, and carried into the next half of football”.
Foord’s goal on the stroke of halftime kick-started the comeback, with Chloe Logarzo and a controversial own goal sealing the win in the second half.
“I never doubted they’d unleash a comeback, whether or not they could finish was a different story. For me, Brazil capitulated really”, said Barbieri.
In what has been a turbulent year for the side, the Matildas continue to perform against a backdrop of controversy, largely pertaining to the sacking of Alen Stajcic as manager in January.
Leach hopes that any misgivings over their ability to perform under new coach Ante Milicic can now be arrested.
“A team unable to cope with that change could not have pulled itself out of the difficult situation it found itself in today, so I would put to bed nonsense that this team doesn’t play without Stajcic as coach. It does, it has, it did”.