Football: Pressure is on me, says Matildas coach Gustavsson after Women's Asian Cup exit

Reuters

Posted at Jan 31 2022 05:51 PM

Australia head coach Tony Gustavsson. Photo courtesy of the AFC.
Australia head coach Tony Gustavsson. Photo courtesy of the AFC

Australia head coach Tony Gustavsson said pressure will be mounting on him after the Matildas were knocked out of the Women's Asian Cup on Sunday following their shock quarter-final defeat by South Korea.

Joint-favourites Australia crashed out of the continental tournament after Chelsea midfielder Ji So-yun scored with two minutes remaining to earn the Koreans a 1-0 victory in Pune.

The result was a huge blow for Australia, who won all their group fixtures and scored 24 goals. They are also due to co-host the 2023 Women's World Cup along with neighbors New Zealand.

"I know what's going to happen now, I have been around long enough and all the pressure is going to be on me. I take full ownership of that," coach Gustavsson told reporters.

Asked whether he will be able to keep his job after Sunday's defeat, Gustavsson said, "I have been around for long enough to know those questions are going to come from all over the place and that's fair, it's OK.

"That's what it should be in this business and it's not me to decide that. Since day one, I am a very passionate person. I always give my 100%, try to do the best. The right person for the job is not my job to say.

"What I can promise is that I have been around long enough to come back from a situation like this and learn from it, do better. That's what I will do if I get the chance to do it."

Gustavsson said he was happy with the team's performance against South Korea and defended striker Sam Kerr, who missed a series of chances.

"Sam is a rockstar. She is our skipper, and always carries the team on her shoulder," he said.

"I know she is going to try to take responsibility for this loss, but it's not her fault, it's a team performance. If someone should be criticised it's me, not Sam.

"I cannot criticise the players at all in terms of the effort and performance. Of course, we are all disappointed about the result but we need to have some distance before we can review it," he added.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)