The Young Matildas lost 9-1 to the South Koreans. What a gut-wrenching way to bow out of the AFC U/19 Championships and another youth World Cup.
2. IT DIDN'T HAVE TO END THIS WAY
The individual quality of our players and our broader philosophy as a sporting nation all demands that while we may lose, we lose in a fashion that befits our competitive ethos.
We didn't have to drop our heads and try to defend a narrow lead against the North Koreans, one of the major factors in our ultimate 5-1 loss. Similarly, we didn't have to field a second-string lineup and play an impractically defensive, long-ball system against the Japanese, resulting in a 7-0 loss.
We can't expect a group of young women to survive two demolitions at the hands of similarly skilled opponents and then enter a do-or-die playoff with confidence.
Even if a largely understrength side had have been smashed by the Japanese playing attacking, high-pressing football, it would have been better for our confidence in the long-term.
It would have shown our best and brightest that while sometimes you play your best and you lose, you always play your best regardless. There's something uniting, even inspiring about having the confidence to play a better side without fear, even if that fear is justified.
It's certainly better from a developmental perspective, if nothing else.
This isn't to say there's anything wrong with defensive, counter-attacking football if it's done correctly.
But you can't play an offensive possession game on Tuesday and then a bus-parking, hit-and-hope style on Friday if you're only together under a new coach for a few weeks a year. It's impossible.
If this tournament teaches us one thing, it should be that we have absolutely nothing to gain from trying to minimise the damage and play cynical tactics in the hope of scraping our way into a youth World Cup.
Not only doesn't it work, what's the point? How does it make us better to get to the U/20 World Cup and then get smashed when we get there?
If we're going to lose in these tournaments, we can bloody-well do so on our own terms.