Matildas dominate Jamaica to seal Cup of Nations victory on home soil

A 3-0 win for the Matildas capped off a week of strong performances ahead of a home World Cup in a few months.

The Matildas were coming off back to back wins in their first two matches of the Cup of Nations, but were intent on winning their third match, in a World Cup rehearsal, trying to 'top their group' and go undefeated through the tournament.

The Matildas had made a few changes to the starting lineup, with Larissa Crummer starting in place of Hayley Raso, and Courtney Nevin in place of Charli Grant.

Cortnee Vine picked up where she left off on Sunday against Spain, with incisive running early against the Jamaican defence early as well. Vine was inches away from a repeat of her heroics, but at 20 minutes in, it was Clare Polkinghorne and Steph Catley who came off second-best, after a head-clash required dual concussion tests for the pair.

Katrina Gorry was threatening early, looking to string together play, but it wasnt until just before the half hour mark that she was able to pierce the Jamaican defence and find the back of the net.

As the first half wore on, it was clear that the fluidity of Grant and Raso was not matched by Nevin and Crummer, who had replaced the duo on the right hand side.

It was only the secure glovework of Mackenzie Arnold between the posts that prevented an equaliser by Jamaica.

Coming out of half time, Polkinghorne and Crummer were given an early finish, as Grant came on to play on the right hand side, and Alex Chidiac as an impact player in front of her.

Vine and Gorry continued to terrorise the Jamaican defence, but were unable to find the back of the net, despite their best efforts.

It was the substitute, Chidiac who found the back of the net just before the hour mark, with her third impactful performance off the bench in as many games.

Chidiac and Gorry continued to trouble the Jamaican defence, but it was link up play between Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord that produced the third goal for Australia.

Kerr and Foord worked between the Jamaican defence, and a rocket from Foord was too much to stop, with the goal of the tournament.

Late in the match, Emily van Egmond was given another late appearance as a game changer, replacing Kyra Cooney-Cross, before Clare Wheeler and Mary Fowler replaced Foord and Gorry.

In the final moments, Kerr was given an early finish by coach Tony Gustavsson, replaced by Tameka Yallop, who helped to run out the clock.

Arnold was one of the key reasons why Australia won all three matches, helping to keep a clean sheet in two of the three matches. She spoke to media after the match, quick to praise the team accomplishment of a tournament victory.

"This being the only real tournament format we had leading into the World Cup, I think it was important for us to really get those games under our belt, especially back to back within 10 days," she explained.

"To come up against those tough teams and perform the way we did, obviously we still have a bit to work on, but the performances were really good, and they were really good 45 minutes in there, and that's what we can work on."

Arnold, after three strong performances, was named Player of the Tournament. She was happy to be able to convert her previous form at club level in England to form for the Matildas over this period.

"I think I came off a couple of good performances for West Ham, leading into this tournament.

"I think it was almost a mindset, almost like I had nothing to lose at this point, and the opportunity came up and I wanted to grab it with both hands, which is something that I hadn't done in the past.

"I have just been doing a lot of work overseas and thankfully I was able to bring it into the national team and hopefully it can continue in that direction."

The win gives the Matildas three wins in three matches, a feat they will look to replicate in the group stages of the World Cup, starting in July.

After the match, Tony Gustavsson was reflective on the achievements of his squad.

"I take away a lot. Obviously, I want to get emotional distance to it to have sharp answers," the coach explained.

"The one thing we did learn is what it feels to win, and we can take all that. It wasn't a brilliant game tonight, for example, it wasn't a brilliant first half against Czechia, it wasn't a brilliant second half against Spain, but tournament football is about finding a way to win.

"It's about grinding through, believing what you're doing, and i really credit the players tonight, the way they stayed loyal and true to the plan we had, and the game.

"The other thing we have realised about tournament football is that we can score goals, and we can score goals in multiple different ways.

"I think we have averaged 3.3 goals in the last seven games now, and also, we can attack that way, and we still kept a clean sheet four out of the last five. That's been very important learning moments."

The Matildas have now announced that they will play a friendly against the England Lionesses in England on April 28, in what may be their final hitout before the World Cup starts on home soil in July.