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Gustavsson backs Australia's fitness for World Cup quarters

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Gustavsson backs Australia's fitness for World Cup quarters

Canberra, Aug 12 (Ajit Weekly News) Australian coach Tony Gustavsson has backed his squad’s fitness to get them over the line against France on Saturday.

The Matildas have used 17 of 23 players in their run to the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup – the fewest of any team left in the tournament – and given substitutes an average of 19 minutes on the pitch, reports Xinhua.

Eight Australian players have played more than 300 minutes at their home World Cup.

By comparison, quarter-final opponents France have used 21 players, two of whom have been on the pitch for over 300 minutes.

Asked at his pre-match press conference whether the reliance on his starters could prove costly for Australia against the better-rested French, Gustavsson rejected the idea.

“We’re fit, we’re fast. We know that. If you look at the schedule that the players are playing now, it’s nothing different than what they’re doing in club land, in terms of the games, amount of weeks,” he told reporters on Friday.

“The most intense game we have played so far in terms of sprint and high-speed metres was the game we had less recovery time. They bounced back extremely well.

If Australia beat France in Brisbane on Saturday night they will reach the World Cup semi-finals for the first time.

The 2023 World Cup, jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, runs from July 20 to August 20.

–Ajit Weekly News

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