After 12 years the Matildas were finally at the Olympics and provided a tournament that extracted the full gamut of emotions.
The relatively young Matildas squad for Rio proved capable against some of the world’s best, although the tournament did not start of well.
A disjointed and subpar performance – by their standards – saw Australia fall 2-0 to eventual bronze medallists Canada in the opening match.
Australia regroup to produce their best 90 minutes of the campaign as they outplayed world number 2 Germany with some of Australia’s trademark exciting and attacking football. However, defensive lapses cost them late in the first and second half with Germany coming back to record a 2-2 draw which ultimately assisted them in their run to the gold medal.
The Matildas were clinical against Zimbabwe to progress through to the quarterfinals stage (as they have done in the past three world cups and 2004 Olympics – their best result in a major tournament).
The quarter final was against a familiar foe in hosts Brazil. In a tight and tense encounter the match game down to spot kick with Australia just missing out on semi-final presence after a tight 150 minute-odd contest with Brazil, painfully losing in a penalty shoot-out.
Australia came to Rio with the challenge of a another tough group (including eventual gold medallists Germany and bronze medallists Canada). Despite the high-calibre opposition, the Matildas were able to come away with some worthy performances, conceding only five goals in the campaign.
Group Stage results
Quarter final result
Brazil 0-0 (6-7 penalties)