Ahead of Australia’s Asian Cup game against Japan, Matildas star Chloe Logarzo says qualifying for next year’s Women’s World Cup would be massive for the women’s game.
It doesn’t get bigger than this. A win or a draw for the Matildas against Japan tonight would see Australia qualify for next year’s World Cup in France as well as earning a semi-final spot in the Asian Cup.
While qualification to the world's biggest tournament is at stake, Logarzo said the Matildas only have eyes for tonight’s game against Japan.
“It’s good motivation but you can’t focus on it for too long,” she told FourFourTwo.
“Obviously it’s going to be a massive boost for our game and female football in Australia.
“We just need to take the small steps that take us up to the big goal because if we fall at those small steps then we are obviously not going to reach the top.”
Australia only needs a draw to progress to France 2019 while Japan needs either a draw or win depending on Korea Republic's result against Vietnam.
Logarzo is sure, that unlike South Korea who sat back in the first group game, that tonight’s contest will be a different story.
“We are definitely expecting Japan to come out firing for this game", she said.
“I know that they have brought in a few of their old players that have come out of retirement so it’s going to be a very interesting game.
“Right now, the team is in great spirits especially after being able to combine and score eight goals.
“It was something that we needed in the tournament especially being goalless after the first game against South Korea.
“So, everyone is on the same page and the flow in that game against Vietnam means we are definitely going into this game with our heads held high and we are all working together.”
Even though the Matildas have the wood over Japan after beating them during the Olympic Qualifying tournament and at last year’s Tournament of Nations, Logarzo feels that has no relevance in tonight’s match.
“When we play them tomorrow it doesn’t matter that we’ve played them twice or we’ve lost twice it just matters who’s up on that given day,” she said.
“That’s something that is definitely instilled in us. Whatever happened in the lead up to the tournament against the teams that we’ve played isn’t equivalent to what happens on that day so we just need to stay focused.”
Unlike many of her Matildas teammates, Logarzo has never been at a World Cup and qualifying for her first would have great significance to her and her family.
“I come from a football family, my background is Italian so it will be unbelievable for me,” she said.
“I remember watching so many World Cups especially seeing Italy winning in 2006. I literally had every single relative in my family over at my house.
“Football has always been in my blood so for me to go to one would be unbelievable.
“I know my dad would be super excited for the opportunity to go and be there supporting me. It makes me so proud knowing that I’m so close to it."