Matildas co-skipper Lisa De Vanna says beating Brazil in their Olympics quarter final is a matter of life or death.
The Matildas go into in the clash on Saturday morning Australian (11am AET) on a high after their thumping 6-1 win over Zimbabwe and impressive 2-2 draw with Germany.
De Vanna says the team have gained confidence from their last two group games and from beating Brazil in a knockout game at last year’s World Cup.
“It’s life or death,” said De Vanna. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Brazil, Germany or France - we have to go out and perform.
"We beat them in a big major tournament but they beat us two weeks ago so you sort of give and take when you look at it like that.
“It’s a tough one because they are on form and we are starting to pick up our form so it’s going to be a very good match. It’s a 50/50 battle. And it’s going to be just as exciting as the World Cup - if anything more exciting.”
The Aussie’s Olympic campaign began with an early defensive error against Canada and in the following two games the Matildas have shown a tendency to concede soft goals. Ahead of their quarter fina,l De Vanna says they cannot continue the trend.
“We talked a lot about that,” she said. “All the goals that we have conceded from set pieces or the last minute of the game or last minute of the half - it’s been a weakness of ours for a very long time.
“It’s just that we are too focused straight away when we do something so well. Now we can’t afford to do that. We need to concentrate on the next game ahead, we just can’t give away games so easily, especially when you work so hard to score a goal.
“That is something that has been addressed in the camp and it’s something that we do work on. We address it before we play, during half-time and during the moments in the game.”
While the star striker was critical of the defence and the slow start, the 31-year-old believes their recent form has given the team a renewed sense of optimism.
“I don’t think we have played to our full potential, De Vanna said. “Especially with Canada having a player down we started off slow and it wasn’t a great start. Then we played Germany and we needed a result and we played really well. We clicked and we created some big chances. They are the number two football team in the world and you can’t get any bigger than Germany when you talk about football.
“Zimbabwe aren’t a really strong team but we created goals and a lot more chances. But if we can go to the next game against Brazil with the belief that we had against Germany and the execution that we had against Zimbabwe we can cause a lot of damage.
“Every game has been a massive moment starting from Canada to Zimbabwe because it dictates where we are now. To play Brazil at home with potentially over 50,000 people - it’s once in a lifetime. It’s exciting and a bit nerve racking at the same time.”