Tony Gustavsson: "We're all disappointed about the result"
The Commonwealth Bank Matildas have exited the AFC Women's Asian Cup following a 1-0 defeat at the hands of South Korea.
For head coach Tony Gustavsson the loss was unsurprisingly disappointing but credited South Korea with a strong performance.
"I want to congratulate Korea Republic on the win, on the semi-final spot and an impressive performance. We were prepared for a very well-organized, hard-working team in this quarter," he told media post-game.
"We were prepared that this was probably going to be a very, very tight game and maybe just one goal to dictate a winner. We said we need to stay focused all the way through."
"I think it was a little bit of a roller coaster game with a lot of emotions out there, both from the sideline and on the pitch, which it should be in a tournament."
Both sides created chances with Lydia Williams and Kim Jung-mi being called on to make some important saves. Ultimately, it was a stunning strike from Ji So-yun which put South Korea ahead.
"I take full ownership for performances, so do the players but we also know that football can be this way sometimes," Gustavsson said.
"I can throw up a lot of stats here with everything from shots, and final third entries and all those things. But at the end of the day, games in tournaments are won and lost inside the 18 and Korea won that game today. And that's why we lost the game."
As after every game, Gustavsson gathered his team into a circle. He called this one of the "tougher talks" he has had a coach.
"In terms of gathering a team and trying to say the right things, it's very difficult when you're very, very emotional after a game as a coach, and so are the players, and I want to leave them space to digest some emotions themselves as well.
"The other thing I said is, true success is measured by 100% performance and effort and attitude. And I can't blame any player out there today for not trying. They left their shirts out there today in that heat and everything, they really went for it all the way through."
"They believed in it all the way through as well, unfortunately, we didn't get that 1-1 goal. But I can't criticize the players for the performance at all in terms of the effort and the performance.
"Of course we're all disappointed about the result, but we need to have some distance before we can review it."
The Commonwealth Bank Matildas will now take a short break to regroup before continuing on their journey to the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.