Matildas thinking big after waltzing past Brazil

MONCTON, Canada, Reuters) - Australia coach Alen Stajcic believes the Matildas can make an even bigger statement after beating Brazil on Sunday to reach the last eight of the Women's World Cup. An 80th minute goal by substitute Kyah Simon gave Australia their first-ever win in the knockout stage of a World Cup and set up a quarter-final clash against either defending champions Japan or the Netherlands. Before the expansion of the tournament, Australia had reached the last two quarter-finals but lost both. While beating Brazil is an impressive scalp to collect, Stajcic believes the win is just a staging post. “Obviously it is a big moment, I don’t think it is the biggest moment yet though. I think we still have to keep going before it is the biggest moment ever,” he said. “We are all super-proud, so excited, I think exhilarating is the word for a victory against a big, powerful football nation but there is still more to come." Australia faced a tough group stage but emerged in second place - losing to the United States, drawing with Sweden and beating Nigeria. Against Brazil they combined disciplined and solid defending with an aggressive and speedy counter-attacking game which ultimately paid off. “I think we are one of the most dangerous teams at the World Cup if not the most dangerous team in going forward," said Stajcic. “Our defence was good again. We are an attacking team, but you are going to have to play good football to break us down. Brazil had a couple of chances but I think overall we deserved the win, we were the better team on the day and certainly in the key moments we were more dangerous." A former coach of Australia’s women’s under-20 team, Stajcic selected a youthful squad for this tournament and is being rewarded for that choice. “With such a young team you just see so much growth and development in such a short space of time." he said. "It is a lot harder when you get older but with 20, 21, 22 years old kids, they are just growing and growing each day. “If they keep growing, as I said, we can beat anyone in the world.” (Reporting by Simon Evans in Edmonton, editing by Gene Cherry)