Maya Lobo is a girl with a dream. "To put on the green and gold and represent my country at a World Cup is my ultimate goal," she said. The 17-year-old defender is being touted as Australia's next soccer superstar after impressing in the Young Matildas' AFC U-20 Women's Asian Cup Round 2 Qualifying campaign in Vietnam. The Young Matildas finished on top of their draw after defeating Lebanon (5-0), Iran (3-0) and host nation Vietnam (2-0). They will now compete in the 2024 AFC U-20 Women's Asian Cup in Uzbekistan. "It was honestly a once in a lifetime opportunity," Maya said. "To even put on the green and gold is such a privilege and I just know that I'm making the nation proud, my family proud and myself proud to know what I can achieve." "Being selected for this team was the moment when I was like wow, I can do this. "I can continue to develop and achieve great things in this sport if I put my mind to it." Maya's journey began in Blacktown, NSW. "I started playing soccer when I was five years old," she said. "My dad's the one who got me into it because I was always an energetic kid, always wanting to run around and have a ball at my feet." She played with "the boys" as she developed her skills as a youngster before being selected in a girls squad at the Institute of New South Wales. Now, after getting a taste of competing on the world stage, she hopes a contract awaits her in the near future. "Well, I'm hoping that there's a W League contract available for me," she said. "Or a move to Europe somewhere where I can play in the Women's Super League or even Spain and play for one of the best clubs in the world like Barcelona or Real Madrid." IN OTHER NEWS: With the upcoming World Cup, Maya hopes women's sport will receive the recognition it deserves. "I think it creates heaps of opportunities for women's soccer," she said. "If we can inspire the younger generation, I think it will be great for football and women's football specifically. "It will continue to grow and gain more recognition worldwide."