After a 1-1 draw against Portugal rounded out the CommBank Matildas' June international window this morning, head coach Tony Gustavsson spoke about the learnings and game-changers from a predominately inexperienced squad.
"I have mixed emotions, to be honest. I'm very disappointed that we lost this game, considering we were up one-nil with very few minutes left, Gustavsson said.
"We talked about game management, time management, smart decisions on the ball. We should've got away with a win, but we had a little bit of an inexperienced team on the field and that's the tough learning when you make a mistake like that [conceding].
"We have a much less experienced team than when we played Portugal in 2018 when we tied and lost, and now we were actually about to win the game so in that sense, from a performance perspective there were some positive answers."
When asked what positive answers Gustavsson found during this window, he said it was mental toughness and self-belief.
"Well, first of all, I think the mental strength of the group to bounce back from that Spain result," Gustavsson explained.
"A lot of teams would be devastated, low in energy and maybe stopped believing, but there's a really true belief in this core group of staff and a core group of players and they know that we need to go through this tough experience to come out a better team.
"What I'd say is the first half was really tough mentally because the wind was really hard and you saw all the technical mistakes that we made in the first half. The wind was killing us. Then in the second half, when we had the wind with us, there was better technical execution."
Lone goalscorer Princess Ibini-Isei was called up to camp for the first time in two years and it was a long five years from her debut in the green and gold to scoring her very senior first goal.
"It's a no-brainer, right? Princes is a game-changer, coming in at halftime and not only scoring but showing that she wanted to be a part of this and that's something we talked a lot about," Gustavsson said of Ibini.
"We spoke about it today in the pregame meeting that the game-changers needed to be ready to play the game from the bench, read the game, know what it's like, so when they come in, they have a good idea what it looks like. Princess came in and made a really big impact."