Katrina Gorry, Matildas looking to beat Canada in Olympic opener
Overcoming Canada will play a vital role in getting the Australian women's football team deep into the Rio Olympics tournament, says star playmaker Katrina Gorry.
The Matildas are in camp in Sao Paulo preparing to open their campaign against Canada on Aug. 3.
The aim is to clinch gold and bring home Australia's first Olympic football medal.
Gorry says defeating Canada can set the tone.
"We have to come out firing in that game," Gorry said. "Being our first game we need to set a mark in our tournament.
"I think it will be a crucial game in our success in this tournament."
Canada, ranked 10th in the world, are a force in women's football.
But fellow 2015 World Cup quarterfinalists the Matildas have shot up to No.5 thanks to this year's blistering qualifying campaign.
Gorry saw a resemblance in styles between Canada and the U.S. outfit they faced in last year's opening World Cup group match.
That was a 3-1 loss, but also a key moment when coach Alen Stajcic realised just how much his team was capable of achieving.
"Canada are very similar to the U.S. in the way they play," Gorry said. "I thought we played quite well against the U.S. in our first game at the World Cup.
"So if we can bring the same mentality for a 90-minute period we'll have the winner in the bag."
Australia are fresh off a 3-1 friendly loss to Brazil in Fortaleza, where the team endured a hot and sweaty training camp.
The host nation scored three second-half goals after Gorry was sent off, but both Stajcic and the group thought they'd performed relatively well.
Striker Michelle Heyman was relieved to find training felt easier in Sao Paulo's cooler climate.
Now they're just looking forward to sighting some opposition.
"It's kind of just us here at the moment," Heyman said.
"I think it'll feel more like the Olympics when we start to run into the other teams."