Matildas's Rio 2016 goalkeeper hero Lydia Williams admits she's disappointed her Brazilian rival Barbara kept coming off her line in the penalty shootout to derail Australia's Olympic dream.
In the fallout of Australia’s 7-6 loss to Brazil on penalties, footage of Barbara moving a few feet off her line when making saves against Katrina Gorry and Alanna Kennedy has incensed Australian coaches, players and fans.
After seeing the video of the sudden death spotkicks, Williams echoed team-mate Laura Alleway's anger that the 28-year-old was allowed to get away with it.
Pre-tournament instructions given to all teams specifically outlawing keepers coming off their line when facing penalties - but officials failed to flag it, including the assistant referee on the goalline itself.
“It is disappointing but you can’t change the decisions as it is,” she said. “Obviously seeing it you just don’t know what to expect, you wish that the talk that you had before the tournament actually rung true.”
During the game Williams was Australia’s best player on the pitch and produced a number of important saves that denied the home team the lead. None was more impressive than her save in the shoot-out to deny Marta, one of Brazilian greatest ever footballers.
“Marta stepped up to take the final penalty for Brazil,” she said. “At training, we have a database of penalty takers and I study that and figure out what their tendencies are.
“I’ve studied Marta because she’s taken a lot of penalties. Fortunately for me I picked the right way. For me it was just another job. I just let myself live in the moment for one second then I realised we have to stand together as a team and prepare for the next moment.”
After a few days to let the enormity of the occasion set in, Williams says the group are still feeling the pain of being one goal away from an Olympic semi final.
“It’s still devastating,” she said. “The tears have stopped and we’ve taken time to reflect on everything. It was just there right in the grasp of our hands.
"But I couldn’t be prouder of the group we worked and fought and thinking back to the game Brazil had so many opportunities to take the game in normal time.
"Credit to the girls for fighting through all the way to get to penalties where it could have gone either way. I’m definitely more proud than I am hurt about the result.
Williams added, “I think the beauty of team sport is that we can rely on each other to bring you out of a funk or cry with you or laugh with you - that is the beauty of this team.
"Because we are so close, we tend to rely on each other a lot and whilst we hurt together, we are excited together and we rejoice together.
“The positives that we can take away from it is we can really fight to the end we can be proud that we showed our Aussie spirit. We really fought all the way. No-one is blaming anyone and we are all supporting each other.”