The Matildas kicked off their 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup campaign with a frustrating goalless draw against South Korea.
2. PLAN B
Photo: Rachel Bach
It was clear by the effectiveness of South Korea’s tactics, that Australia was prepared for a battle, not a stalemate and the opening round of the Asian Cup has served as a great opportunity for the Matildas to come up with a “Plan B” when facing these kinds of opponents.
The inclusion of more combinations and speed in the front third to create holes in the armour of a heavily defensive team like South Korea will help create space for the Matildas to move the ball through the defensive wall.
Australia is learning that being ranked number six in the world, they will have a target on their backs and teams will do whatever it takes to get a point from them.
There is a risk that other competitors could play the same style of game which Australia can now be prepared for.
3. WHY ARE POINTS SO IMPORTANT?
With the influx of new fans to the game, one question being asked is, “Isn’t a draw better than a loss, aren’t we technically undefeated?” The answer is yes – but it’s not ideal.
The Asian Cup is not only a competition in its own right but a ticket to the 2019 FIFA World Cup, so a finish in the top five is crucial.
Earlier on match day, Japan defeated Vietnam meaning they currently lead Group B with Australia and South Korea tied on points.
A win against Vietnam on Wednesday will be crucial to move forward in the torunament in their bid for a shot at the World Cup next year.