“We’ve reviewed those” – Matildas finalise preparations for France foray

“We’ve reviewed those” – Matildas finalise preparations for France foray

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There’s just over 48 hours until the Matildas open their 2019 World Cup campaign against Group C rivals Italy, and experienced duo Ellie Carpenter and Tameka Yallop believe they are ready to go.

Ante Milicic’s side had its final hit-out against the Netherlands – the reigning European champions – in Eindhoven last week, but fell 3-0.

Shanice van de Sanden netted a double, while Vivianne Miedema also got in on the scoring at Philips Stadion.

It was a second international friendly defeat in a row for the Matildas having suffered a 5-3 loss against the USWNT in April.

Teenager Carpenter – already with 32 international caps to her name heading into the tournament – identified set piece defending as an area in need of fine-tuning.

“As a team, we took out a lot of positives and also some things that we can work on,” the full-back said.

“Conceding two goals off set pieces, we’ve reviewed those and revised them. We know what we need to do now.”

Experienced campaigner Yallop agreed with her teammate, insisting there would be no major changes ahead of the clash at Stade du Hainaut.

“We’ve been working on our defensive structure and how we want to defend for a long time and since Ante’s come on board,” she said.

“I don’t think there’s too much we need to work on, it’s just the timing of things and tweaking of a few little things.

“But there’s nothing major that we’ll be changing.”

The Italians enter the match as the 15th-ranked team in the world and have lost just one match in 2019: a penalty shootout against North Korea.

Carpenter warned they are not to be taken lightly.

“I think the Italians are quite skilful in what they do and technically pretty savvy as well,” she added.

“We’re expecting an intense game as it is anyway coming into the World Cup. I think there’ll be a lot of skill on display.”

Meanwhile, there was heartbreak for defender Laura Alleway, who was forced out of the squad on Thursday night with injury.

“This is an unfortunate situation for Laura and as a group we feel for her,” coach Milicic said.

Canberra United young gun Karly Roestbakken has since replaced her.

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