It was hardly a perfect performance, but the Matildas' 2-0 win over New Zealand was the best start new coach Ante Milicic could hope for after taking control of the side just over a week ago in controversial circumstances.
Appointed 10 days ago, Milicic had just two days to name a 25-player squad and only a handful of days in camp in preparation for Australia's opening Cup of Nations tournament. But despite the quick turnaround Sam Kerr and her side showed the controversy wouldn't side track them on their road to the World Cup.
"He's so particular about everything," Matildas captain Sam Kerr said following the match. "You could see that we'd already adapted really well tonight... one-touch play, finding the pockets -- it was really crisp and fast, a lot of pressure -- high pressure... it was so much fun. I'm so excited for the next six months, it's going to be an unbelievable journey."
Looking nervous early on, Kerr believed all the girls were feeling the pressure to impress their new coach, but despite the missed opportunities and some messy patches of play, she was still pleased with how the match played out.
"We were saying on the bench we don't think that Ante would have seen how good we really were. Everyone was nervous, everyone was tripping over the ball, myself included.
"We're just all nervous, but that's what a new coach does, and it was fun, and we got to express ourselves tonight. We felt like we had his trust from the get-go, so it was really good."
A quiet night out for the star player, Kerr made only a few touches during her time on the pitch, with New Zealand's defence clearly centred on keeping the forward out of the game. Taken from the pitch in the 63rd minute, Kerr spent the final passages of play impressed by her fellow teammates and hopes she faces the same tactics at the World Cup.
"It opened up other people's passage for passes, but it was fun. I had so much fun. I didn't really get on the ball as much as I'd like, but that's why it's a team sport, other people had to step up tonight.
"I was stoked, I obviously wanted to play more but I understand that Ante is so particular about everything. He gave me 15 minutes at half-time, but sitting on the bench I just thought 'wow, the girls look unreal'. It was honestly so much fun, I'm super stoked with it."
One truly impressive performances came from winger Hayley Raso, who made her inspirational return to the Matildas after suffering a broken back during a WSL match in the USA just six months ago.
Coming off the bench late in the match, Raso made an immediate impact but it was her 75th-minute goal that had the crowd on their feet celebrating her miraculous return.
"To come out and play out on home soil was just amazing," Raso of her goal in her return. "It was just excitement I think, I was overwhelmed. I'd just got on and after a couple of touches I got the goal, it was really exciting."
Returning to the Matildas fold under new coach Milicic, Raso has so far been impressed with how well the side has come together following the sacking of former coach Allen Stajcic.
"He's just come in and I feel like we've all gelled really well," Raso said of Milicic. "He's giving us his principles and his standards in what he wants us to do and we're all taking that on board. I think we're all united. It's great having Ante, he's done really well for us so far and it's great to get the win for him and for us today.
"He's put his values forward and his standards forward. It's an exciting time, we have a World Cup coming up, he's coaching us, taking us and leading us there, so we're all trusting in him."
Currently sitting second on the Cup of Nations ladder through goal differential, the Matildas head to Brisbane to face Korea in what could prove to be the tournament winning match.