Sub-plots abound as Matildas gear up for defining game with Brazil | Richard Parkin

The overarching narrative of Australia’s Women’s World Cup campaign very much hinges on events in Montpellier

Alea iacta est. So the histories report Caesar uttered as he crossed the Rubicon, risking all on the hopes of a dream. After days of furore following Australia’s shock loss to a vastly improved Italy – and the acrimony of a reheated saga from months past – suddenly for the Matildas in France the stakes have never been higher.

In his pre-match presser the usually softly-spoken Ante Milicic bared his teeth. Two seemingly inoffensive questions received short shrift. The issue was not the enquiries themselves, but the perceived underlying agenda from certain media outlets. The coach felt his players had been unfairly treated and the wagons were circled.

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