Matildas and Caitlin Foord take big step without Sam Kerr in major statement ahead of Olympics

The Matildas have found their form ahead of the Paris Olympics.

The Matildas have secured a confidence-boosting win over Mexico ahead of their Olympics campaign without superstar Sam Kerr after a Caitlin Foord masterclass. On the same day the Matildas found out Zambia will join the US and Germany in their Paris Olympics group, the Aussies were able to defeat Mexico 2-0 after a number of tactical changes.

Foord was the star for the Matildas having set-up the first goal and scored a stunning long-range strike to hand Australia the win in Texas. The Matildas were missing the likes of Clare Hunt and Katrina Gorry.

This prompted Steph Catley to move centrally and for Kaitlyn Torpey to start at left-back. Emily van Egmond started in midfield alongside Kyra Cooney-Cross. The Matildas dominated possession and used the opportunity against the World No.31 ranked team to pass out from the back.

Caitlin Foord (pictured) scored a world class goal to help the Matildas secure a confidence-boosting win over Mexico. (Images: Getty Images/Channel 10)
Caitlin Foord (pictured) scored a world class goal to help the Matildas secure a confidence-boosting win over Mexico. (Images: Getty Images/Channel 10)

Australia may have dominated territory and possession, but were reduced to a number of lacklustre efforts early on in the game. But it was the reliable Matildas star, Foord, that cut through the Mexico defence.

Foord glided past her defender, before she squared the ball to Hayley Raso at the top of the box. Raso used her quick foot-work before firing the ball past the goalkeeper into the corner.

And Foord saved the best for her own goal. In the second-half, the 29-year-old received the ball at the top of the box. She shifted her body weight, stopped, then accelerated past her defender and launched a right foot strike curling into the goal.

Fans were full of praise for Foord's effort with the forward stepping up in Kerr's absence. Foord will have plenty to prove at this year's Olympics with many Matildas fans pinpointing the 29-year-old as the key to Australia's success.

Caitlin Foord celebrates.
Caitlin Foord (pictured middle) celebrates with her teammates after scoring.

Caitlin Foord earns high praise for Matildas display

The Matildas are building fantastic momentum heading into the Olympics with coach Tony Gustavsson turned to Cortnee Vine, Clare Wheeler and Clare Polkinghorne giving plenty of players a run. Although the talk was around Foord.

Andy Harper told Channel 10 Foord was the key heading into the Olympics. "As if it needs confirming. she is the most important player in the team. She is the ingredient that has separated the Matildas from losses for 18-24 months. Today...she just reconfirmed it. There is more to come," he said.

Mexico defeated Australia's Olympic opponents, the US, back in February and provided a solid friendly for the Paris bound outfit. Australia next play China in Adelaide on May 31, then Sydney on June 2.