We can definitely start with a few positives because Olympic qualification isn't supposed to be easy and at times, we played some mouth-watering football.

Ante Milicic's combination play looks phenomenal when it's in full effect. The mobility that we possess in our forward line means we play on the counter attack with such dynamism and fluidity that we're near unstoppable.

But as the likes of Kyah Simon, Chloe Logarzo and even Katrina Gorry showed in glimpses, when we have someone pulling the strings behind Sam Kerr, we can also control games magnificently right where we want to.

21 goals in five games is a whopping return and a glowing reflection on the qualities of the likes of Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Simon.

There are a lot of reasons to get excited about our forward line, because we have a brand new scoring brigade finding confidence now that Lisa De Vanna appears to have made way.

Hayley Raso, Emily van Egmond and Logarzo are all turning into regular goalscorers, fresh off fantastic W-League campaigns.

While the shift towards the English Women's Super League has been well-covered, the W-League influence is also telling.

Van Egmond in particular has had a remarkable run of performances. Just a few caps of the century, she's back to her devastating best in a Matildas shirt.


The stark negatives to take out of this Olympic qualification period have all arrived in the back end. After two thumpings of Thailand and Taiwan, the scraped draw against China was a little too close for comfort.

We were too relaxed at home against a side that had faced numerous challenges due to the outbreak of coronavirus and they came so close to making us pay.

Had we lost that match, were it not for the grace of van Egmond's boot, we would be looking at a very difficult situation now.

China have to face South Korea in June - with all the problems that entails - due to the countries' coronavirus epidemics and it could have easily been us.

There was a brief reprieve with another thrashing of Vietnam in the first leg, but despite how easy it can be to switch off when you're 7-0 up on aggregate, the issues are all too familiar.

Weak back passes, a lack of intensity, poor forward passing, lapse marking, allowing two-on-ones in our defensive third...when the sun shines we're a million degrees but when it rains, we pour.


Bit of a cop out this one, but we're going to have to wait and see because we have two massive fixtures against Canada and the USA in April which are going to teach us a lot about Milicic's progression.

If we had to take a punt, overall, our performances against Asian opposition don't fill us with confidence. The leaky backline and often stagnated attacking play isn't world beating and - as a bigger concern - there doesn't appear to have been a genuine evolution in this team since a disappointing World Cup.

While we certainly have a locked-down first eleven now and our best players in red-hot form, we don't have considerable depth either.

Tonight was an opportunity to bring in fresh faces to try and prove their worth...but Milicic reneged.

Will he raft in changes for two friendlies, even if they're potential confidence-shakers against two of the best teams in the world? Perhaps. Maybe that's a grander plan, we'll have to wait and see.

For now, we can enjoy the fact that Australia has qualified both football teams for the Olympics, a feat we've only achieved once before in our history.