Simon Eyeing First Half Repeat


Sydney FC’s Kyah Simon is looking to build on the Matildas barnstorming first half against the United States as the girls prepare for their second group stage match against Nigeria tomorrow.

The Matildas received plaudits for their football in the opening 45 minutes and Simon believes that with the squad at peak fitness there should be no concerns of a repeat performance that saw the Americans break away at the start of the second half.

“I’m looking forward to our game tomorrow, coming off a loss you always want to do better in the next game,” she said.

“The team is looking good and we’re going to go out there and give it a good performance somewhat like we did against the US in the first half. It’s a World Cup so anything can happen.

“Watching the Sweden game and seeing them [Nigeria] cramp up in the 60th minute showed us a bit of weakness in their fitness,” she continued.

“In terms of us I don’t think there’s a matter of fitness, for us we’re at peak fitness. It’s just a matter of staying focussed and engaging the game and staying on top.”

Simon praised the mentality in the squad instilled by former Sydney FC W-League Head Coach Alen Stajcic as she said the youthful Matildas squad will now know what to expect following their opening round defeat.

“The culture that Staj has embedded into this group, we’ve really come together as a close knit group,” Simon said.

“We’re more family orientated than before and I think that really reflects in our performance on the pitch. It’s a really nice settling feeling to know you’ve got each other’s backs on and off the park.

“Going in to game two I think the players now know what to expect from the atmosphere, from the quality and also what to expect from the pressure.

“Having experienced that from four days ago that settles the nerves and we’re in really good stead going into this game. There’s no reason why we can’t go out and get the result tomorrow.”

The Westfield Matildas face Nigeria in their second group game tomorrow (kick off 7am AEST).

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