How total was the Matildas’ dominance of Uzbekistan in the second leg of their Olympic qualifier, a 10-0 victory that saw them cruise to a 13-0 aggregate win and punch their tickets to Paris 2024? As his players stayed limber in the 31st minute, already up 5-0, there was a legitimate question as to whether coach Tony Gustavsson would make a series of changes before the first half concluded in an act of load management.

Wednesday’s game shaped as something of a procession for the hosts after a 3-0 aggregate lead had been established from the first leg in Tashkent four days ago. With that in mind, there was a party atmosphere before kick-off and the Matildas, who have transcended the traditional bounds of sport to become a cultural touchstone, were allowed an opportunity to celebrate another moment with a 12th consecutive home sellout crowd, including the great Cathy Freeman in the stands.

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