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Soccer

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Matildas seeking World Cup momentum

The Matildas have vowed to maintain the rage against Jamaica and bring a fear factor into the World Cup knockout rounds.

The Matildas face the Reggae Girlz at Grenoble's Stade des Alpes at 5am (AEST) on Wednesday, needing to avoid defeat to progress into the last 16.

Ante Milicic's side are aiming higher than that though, wanting to win comfortably to avoid a possible meeting with hosts France.

Emily Gielnik, who made her World Cup debut in Australia's stunning 3-2 comeback win over Brazil in Montpellier, says their turnaround has the Matildas feeling on top of the world.

"We saw a glimpse of what our football can be like if we stick to our principles and believe in ourselves," she said.

"(Milicic) wants that to keep going, he wants us to keep rolling that ball forward."

Jamaica's two losses at the tournament so far - 3-0 to Brazil and 5-0 to Italy - suggests they will be easier opponents than the South Americans.

But after shipping eight goals in their two matches before the tournament, the Matildas should be aware that turnarounds in the form can be swift.

Ante Milicic's side have also conceded two goals in each of their group games.

Adding further perspective, Australia could only manage a 2-2 draw with Thailand at last year's Asian Cup. That same opponent was belted 13-0 by the USA on Tuesday.

"Every team at the World Cup can offer a threat," Gielnik said.

"It's the day, how everyone's feeling, what happens, the scenarios. It's so unpredictable.

"The hardest thing about being in such a prestigious tournament like this is the unpredictability, and right now they have nothing to lose so that makes us vulnerable in a way."

Another danger is that the Matildas remain clouded by the euphoria of their result against Brazil.

Some observers fear Australia are already thinking about the knockout rounds before even securing their berth, but Gielnik denies they're over-confident.

"It's instilled more belief in us. It's given us that belief and that positivity going forward knowing we feel confidence to win against Jamaica," she said.

"Not just to win but to play our best football and score as many goals as possible without over-thinking the end outcome.

"We are still riding this wave and we honestly just can't wait for game day, it couldn't come quick enough."

Australia winger Hayley Raso warned that Jamaica were better than their recent results suggested.

"I wouldn't say they are rubbish. They are very athletic and strong and quick," she said.

"Just because teams have lost we don't go in just thinking we are going to win it.

"We all just stick to our roles and follow the process. We just want to get the win and see where we finish in the group."

--End of article--

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