Meeks’ and Mini’s pinpoint passing powers Matildas


It’s the stunning statistic that has helped power the Matildas to the quarter-finals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Brisbane Roar W-League midfielders Katrina Gorry and Tameka Butt have been executing passes at a success rate in excess of a staggering 80 per cent – easily the highest in the team and among the most accurate at the tournament.

And none of those brilliant passes was more telling than the one played by Gorry to her co-captain Lisa De Vanna against the Brazilians in the Matildas’ Round of 16 match this morning.

Despite the pressure of two midfielders either side of her, Gorry delivered a pinpoint right-foot pass behind the last Brazilian defender.

De Vanna ran onto the perfectly weighted pass to fire a blistering left-foot shot that Brazilian keeper Luciana couldn’t hold.

Matildas substitute Kyah Simon pounced on the loose ball to give Australia the winner in the 80th minute against the world No.7 team and passage into the quarter-finals for the first time.

They now meet either Japan or the Netherlands on Saturday (Sunday 6am AEST LIVE on SBSOne, HD and online).

Brisbane Roar W-League coach Belinda Wilson said Gorry and Butt were renowned for their strong passing game in W-League matches and she was proud that they were showcasing those skills at the World Cup.

“It is a credit to both Meeks (Butt) and Mini (Gorry) as they work hard to perfect their game,” Wilson said.

“Both players have the potential to change games in an instance and we saw that this morning with that ‘killer pass’ from Mini to De Vanna to unlock Brazil’s defence.

“We are extremely proud of all the girls they have been training hard.

“When the Queensland girls returned to Roar’s training during their little time at home (before the Cup), they kept bringing another level of intensity and shared their belief of playing deep into the tournament.

“I believe that they can go all the way as they are playing world-class football and they have developed that belief into real confidence as a team” 

Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic described this morning’s win as his greatest moment in football.

“We’re all super proud and so excited, I think exhilarating is the word for such a victory against a big powerful football nation but there is still more to come,” Stajcic said.

“We’re really happy today and we’ll celebrate tonight but then it’s back to work tomorrow because we know we’ve got another potential world champion in our next round.”

“I can’t really express how proud we are of how they perform and how they carry out their tasks. The effort, the execution, the spirit, it has just been brilliant.”

The victory set off a storm on social media for several hours this morning with messages of congratulations not only from family and friends but also current and former Socceroos and Matildas as well as other sports including hockey, cricket, netball, AFL and rugby.

The Roar’s Magnificent 7 in the Matildas squad – co-captain Clare Polkinghorne, Laura Alleway, Elise Kellond-Knight, Hayley Raso, Larissa Crummer, Gorry and Butt – were among those leading the way with heartfelt messages of pride and admiration.