“I don’t know. It’s really hard to put into words. I just feel like this group is really special and to share this moment with every single player out there, all of our support staff, all the fans, honestly, they’re amazing. Yeah, I don’t know… We just made a part of history and I’m so honoured to be part of that.” said the football star.
As the nation celebrated, Cortnee Vine’s winning penalty was already being compared in its impact to the one John Aloisi converted against Uruguay in 2005 to send Australia’s men to their first World Cup for more than three decades.
The Matildas have now exceeded anything the Socceroos have managed at a global level and the significance of being one of the best four teams in the world for the first time was not lost on Yallop and team mate Caitlin Foord who spoke in the mixed zone after the match in Brisbane.
Foord said that she was “Just so proud. It was an incredible performance. We’re unlucky not to put one away during the game and then to go to pens (penalties) and to get it done then I think it’s just huge for this team and something now to even boost our confidence even more to get through a hurdle like that just shows what our team is about and the belief we have and yeah, I’ll never say die attitude came out tonight.”
Up next for the co-hosts is a semi-final at Stadium Australia in Sydney on Wednesday against European champions England.
The support for the Matildas is reaching fever pitch with fan zones across the country packed out on Saturday with people cheering on Tony Gustavsson’s team.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino even joined the crowds at the FIFA Fan Festival in Sydney for part of the match.
For Australia’s last match in Sydney against Denmark on August 7, the New South Wales government lit up the Sydney Opera House to show their support for the Matildas. It’s not yet confirmed whether they will make the same gesture for the semi-final.