Tony Gustavsson: "We're heading somewhere to leave this game better than when we arrived"

The Matildas quest for history won’t just have immediate impacts.

While the team will record their best ever result at an Olympics and still have a 50% chance of earning Australia its first-ever Olympic football medal, the benefits from this run and this tournament are set to be long-standing.

“First of all, I think in terms of the Legacy ‘23 journey that we're on, that I've been referencing since the first day I came on board, is a massive and impressive investment from Football Australia.

"I already think that we have sent a lot of positive messages on that journey,” coach Tony Gustavsson told media.

“We're heading somewhere to leave this game better than when we arrived, in that sense, I already think that it's been important for women's football in Australia,” he continued.

“A medal is always a medal. And that would be massive and huge in terms of what that will mean going into the World Cup 2023 on home soil. So we're definitely committed to bringing that medal home.”

Tokyo 2020 has already proven to be solid foundation as the sport moves towards the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

These positive signs haven’t just been on the pitch. The performance has had flow on effects to other areas including viewership.

Tokyo 2020 Ultimate Guide: Australia v USA (bronze medal match)

Watch: Raso thrilled to play for her country in Tokyo: "I just love representing Australia"

Read: Tony Gustavsson: "If we play our A-game, we know we're going to go home with a medal."

Australia has tuned in to Matildas matches like never before, setting multiple records for the biggest audience for a women’s team sport event in the country.

The semi-final against Sweden broke the record set earlier in the tournament, with 1,871,107 Aussies watching the game. The audience numbers peaked at 2.32 million people.

These are figures which have delighted Gustavsson.

“I'm mightily impressed about this and I think it's so well deserved for these girls as well. The football they're playing and the brand they stand for, how they not just unite as a team, but unite the country as well, it's fantastic.”

Gustavsson went on the encourage Australia to continue its great support ahead of the bronze medal match.  

“I want to be very clear to everyone back home, that it means the world for these players, the support they feel from back home is huge in order for them to go out there and perform their best football.

“So we're doing this together, together with the fans and the families and stakeholders and everyone back home and we have done it together for the whole tournament.

"I think the support is going to be even more for a medal game, so I can't thank you enough for that support.”

With massive support and a best-ever Olympic result for the Matildas, the future looks bright as Australian football continues to work towards 2023 and beyond.

The Matildas will take on the USA for the bronze medal with kick-off at 6 pm.

Join the Matildas Bronze Medal Watch Party below:

Matildas v United States
6:00pm AEST kick-off
Watch it LIVE via the Seven Network and 7plus app (check your local listings)

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Join our Watch Party: Matildas v USA for the Bronze Medal