- The American rock star touched the surface over the weekend
- Matildas will play at the same venue a few days later.
- Australians need to hold off Ukbekistan to qualify for Olympics
Pink’s recent performances at Marvel Stadium have raised concerns for the Matildas coach about the state of the playing surface, just a day before the team’s crucial Olympic qualifying match.
The American rock star played concerts at the Melbourne venue over the weekend, just a week before the Matildas’ final Paris 2024 qualifying match against Uzbekistan, scheduled for Wednesday night at the same ground.
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson expressed concern about the pitch and stressed the need for additional maintenance, addressing the issue hours before the team’s training at the same venue on Tuesday.
“It’s definitely a field we can play soccer on, but I think it’s extremely important that we water it a lot,” Gustavsson said.
“Right now the ball sticks to the grass, like right now when it’s this dry. So we definitely need to water it a lot to get a fast surface where we can play fast soccer.”
Pink recently held a concert at Marvel Stadium just days before the Matildas played Uzbekistan.
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson expressed concern about the pitch ahead of the clash
Desperate to save a tangible prize for a golden generation that is running out of time, the Matildas are determined to make sure they don’t miss a medal at the Paris Olympics.
Tony Gustavsson’s charges felt the bitter aftertaste of finishing fourth in Tokyo and then again at the Women’s World Cup on home soil.
With a 3-0 lead over Uzbekistan after the first leg of their qualifying match, Australia are set to seal qualification for Paris in the home match at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on Wednesday night.
Steph Catley, one of the key players who is now in her 30s, is determined to seize this opportunity.
‘With this group we have been very, very close to achieving something physical; In the last Olympic Games and in the World Cup we finished fourth, and that is something that weighs a lot on this group,” Catley said.
The Matildas comfortably won the first leg, but will not let their guard down at home
Australian fans will be hoping Mary Fowler can light up Marvel Stadium in the absence of the injured Sam Kerr.
“Obviously, we are all getting a little older and opportunities for major tournaments are becoming scarcer.
“We’re definitely very motivated to do something physical, over the last few years we’ve built this team to the point we are at now.”
“The football we have played, especially in recent years, constantly competes with the best in the world. And we want to continue doing it as long as we can.
“But obviously if you look at the core group of this team, we’re definitely running out of opportunities.”
“We have to qualify for the Olympics first, but we definitely see this as a great opportunity to get something physical out of what we’ve done over the last few years, and the passion and desire to do it is definitely there.”