Phew, well that's one way to do it. Bogged down by one of the worst pitches we've come across, the Young Matildas left it until late to snatch a 1-0 win against Vietnam and scrape into the AFC U/19 Championship semi-finals.
ONE OF THE WORST PITCHES WE'VE EVER SEEN
And we've seen Spotless Stadium.
Admittedly, we might just be a little annoyed at the quality of AFC's stream (the first time we post it for you all to watch, of course). But in a do-or-die match against a team that merely had to draw to progress, everything worked against us.
If you're hosting a tournament in Thailand during monsoon season, you either need to splash on some irrigation or delay the matches. Let's not even bring the quality of the football into it (which was terrible) the injury risk is completely untenable.
Despite the improvement in the second half, this match probably should have been abandoned at half-time. Like all football matches, it appears a serious injury is required before referees take action.
To their credit, AFC representatives did expect the pitch during half-time and delay the second half while the Thai grounds staff literally bucketed water off the surface, but when you have to remove water from the pitch in buckets, it's already too late.
The other problem with awful conditions is they always encourage nasty tactics. Thankfully the Vietnamese weren't in the 'That wasn't a hack, I fell into her' category, but they certainly didn't mind slowing the game down...to a stop...every few minutes.
It's always fun to watch a team take the ball into the corner flag in the first half, but we digress.
It's hard to take any real lessons from playing football on a waterlogged quagmire, which levels the playing field even though it quite literally does the opposite.
But the Young Matildas deserve a lot of credit for toughing it out in these conditions, given Thailand and the PRK, who's match was held simultaneously, didn't have to endure anywhere near the sort of conditions our field did.