What we're focusing on for Italy: Kennedy

Defending set pieces has been a recent focus of the Matildas, admits Alanna Kennedy.

But all of Australia’s energy in Sunday’s Group C opener against Italy will be devoted toward imposing themselves on the opposition.

Ante Milicic’s side kick off their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign against Le Azzurre on Sunday, 9:00pm AEST.


“We want to make sure as a back-line we’re keeping things tight,” Kennedy said.

“Definitely one of our focuses is the set pieces. We’re aware of the threats that they [Italy] have in the air and off set pieces and good deliveries.

“But at the moment, we’re solely focusing on ourselves and what we can do around them.”

How to Watch FIFA Women's World Cup 2019


GUIDE: A look at all nine stadiums for the 2019 Women's World Cup
PREVIEW: Matildas v Italy
LIVE BLOG: Matildas build up and news around the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup

The Matildas are solely focused on themselves ahead of Sunday evening's Italy opener

A higher defensive line has been a feature of head coach Milicic’s approach in Australia’s pre-World Cup friendlies with USA and the Netherlands.

It is a strategy that has produced some enterprising football, and one that Kennedy is confident will come to the fore for the Matildas against Italy.

“We feel good about it,” Kennedy said.

“There’s definitely some times where we could drop our line earlier depending on the opposition and the time on the ball.

“But it’s a good change that we’ve had recently and we’ve found a lot of success in it.

“Unfortunately, in the last couple of games we’ve lost a few goals which doesn’t look good on paper, but as a team we’re not concerned about that at all.”

Win a Westfield Matildas Jersey

GET TO KNOW THE SQUAD: Goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, forwards
ELLIE CARPENTER: 'It's really happening'

The Matildas held their matchday -2 training session at the Stade Municipal St. Amand Les Eaux on Friday

World Cup France 2019™ – Group C – Australia Matches

Australia v Italy
Date: Sunday, 9 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
Kick-off: 9.00pm AEST (1.00pm local time, same day)

Australia v Brazil
Date: Friday, 14 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Kick-off: 2.00am AEST (6.00pm local time, Thursday 13 June)

Jamaica v Australia
Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
Kick-off: 5.00am AEST (9.00pm local time, Tuesday 18 June)

Australians are encouraged to #GetOnside and show their support for the bid at AusBid2023.com.