Whereas the England crew and their followers are already waiting for the prospect of including one other chapter to one of the crucial fiercely contested sporting rivalries, Australia was nonetheless basking within the glory of one in all its best sporting moments.
On Saturday night native time, Australia held their nerve by 20 agonising penalty kicks to beat France in a shootout and attain their first Ladies’s World Cup semi-final.
European champions England are on the horizon for his or her subsequent match, however for now, Matildas followers are nonetheless attempting to make sense of what they witnessed.
The sight of their yellow-shirted gamers leaping in ecstasy was plastered over the nation’s entrance pages on Sunday, accompanied with headlines together with “Magnifique Matildas” and “Mathrilldas”.
In a single day viewing figures reported the biggest television audience in more than two decades – since Cathy Freeman gained gold on the Sydney Olympics in 2000 – with a mean of 4.23 million.
And that didn’t account for the hordes of followers who descended on the fan parks, congregated spherical massive screens and met on the pub to cheer on the Matildas.
Sunday Herald sports activities author Emma Kemp describes it as a second “that can endlessly be etched into Australian sporting folklore”.
She writes: “The place had been you at precisely 8pm on August 12, 2023? When Cortnee Vine’s deathly spot-kick marked the top of a penalty shootout that gave grandmothers across the nation coronary heart assaults.”
Sports activities journalist Robert Craddock, writing in Australia’s Sunday Telegraph, stated: “Even earlier than it was completed, it stood in all of its nerve-jangling glory, as one of many best Australian sporting occasions of all time.”
Vine’s profitable spot-kick was shortly declared to have changed what had beforehand been thought of the nation’s most iconic soccer second – when John Aloisi scored a penalty in 2005 to ship the Socceroos to their first World Cup since 1974.
The person himself, fittingly a co-commentator on the Matildas quarter-final for Australian TV, had few complaints.
“I am completely happy to be relegated, I do not care,” stated Aloisi.
“What this may do, this may encourage a future technology. That is what the ladies spoke about earlier than the match, that is what they have been talking about throughout the match. They usually’re dwelling this second.”
‘What it’s to be a Matildas fan’
Some seasoned observers in contrast the influence of the victory to Freeman’s iconic 400m gold medal 23 years in the past, with the entire nation getting behind their ladies’s soccer crew.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has promised a nationwide public vacation if the Matildas go all the best way and raise the trophy.
Adam Peacock, a journalist for the Australian Sunday Telegraph, wrote: “Of all of the great world champions, gold medallists and sporting legends this nation has gifted to the world, the Matildas are actually firmly on the highest shelf and would possibly but occupy a spot all their very own.”
However with their subsequent match going down in simply three days’ time – in the identical stadium in Sydney the place Freeman had her generation-defining second – the crew do not need lengthy to come back again right down to earth.
ABC ladies’s soccer journalist Samantha Lewis is one in all a small variety of reporters who’ve been following the Matildas for a few years.
She instructed the BBC World Service’s World Soccer podcast how the emotion overwhelmed her after the semi-final triumph and he or she broke down in tears midway by asking a query to Australia supervisor Tony Gustavsson within the post-match media convention.
“I do not know if there are ice packs for feelings however that is what I would like over the following couple of days,” she stated.
“For now, emotionally for the gamers, bodily for them, it is nearly attempting to come back down off the wave and get themselves revved up for no matter occurs subsequent.
“Actually, I do not know if I can expertise this once more. What it’s to be a Matildas fan…”