Lisa De Vanna determined to erase painful Asian Cup memories
Legendary Matildas striker Lisa De Vanna says triumphing in the Asian Cup, beginning this weekend in Jordan, would be a sweet follow-up to one of the most painful memories of her career.
Or perhaps that should be non-memory.
De Vanna will appear in her 10th competitive international tournament when Australia face South Korea on Sunday morning.
That's two Olympics, three World Cups and now a fifth Asian Cup.
Through that streak -- dating back to 2004 -- Australia have saluted once, in China at the 2010 continental competition.
De Vanna was there, it's just that she wasn't playing.
"I broke my leg in the third group game," she told AAP. "I wasn't meant to play that game as well but I was very stubborn and I told the coach 'I'm playing, like it or not.'
"I said to myself, go out and whatever you do just don't get injured.
"I broke my leg and my ankle within five minutes. That's karma huh?"
What followed was an exercise in determination and doggedness.
The Matildas had reached a semifinal against Japan, heavyweights and would-be champions at the World Cup the following year.
Qualification for Germany was on the line for both teams -- the loser would face a third-place playoff that doubled as a do-or-die qualifier.
"I went to the hospital and they said I'd broke my leg. I didn't believe I had. But I tried to walk and I fell to the ground in pain," she said.
"I stayed on in China. That's me, I'm very stubborn.
"I didn't take any painkillers because we were playing Japan in the semifinals and I really wanted to feel the emotions with the girls.
"I was in a lot of pain but at the same time, the adrenalin was rushing because it was such an important game.
"I remember sitting there with Thea Slatyer at the time, we're not best friends, but I remember holding her hand so tight.
"We qualified and after that I took the painkillers and I don't remember anything else."
What followed was Australia's first Asian crown -- male or female -- earned with a penalty shootout victory over North Korea.
Having missed the chance to play in a winning final, De Vanna said she was confident in the Matildas' prospects in Jordan.
"I'm feeling confident and the body's feeling very good. The best in a long while," she said.
"We've been in this position before many times. The difference now is other people expect us to win.
"In the past, it's been just us who believe we can win. It's a bit different but we know what to do."