As the second match day of the Cup of Nations rolls around, Australia will be facing off against familiar neighbours Korea Republic on Sunday evening.
What to expect
Spectators of the match between Korea Republic and Argentina could be forgiven for thinking that the former side will bring in a strong attacking style onto the table again for this match.
Instead, their insanely organised defence will probably be on show, as that was proven to be the most effective against the Matildas’ preferred style of high press and direct play. In the Asian Cup game last year, the South Koreans were able to cut off passing lanes and stifle any potential opportunities for the Matildas by putting eight to ten players behind the ball.
Australia will need to be patient during the build-up and show discipline off the ball so that spaces can be created within the compact South Korean shape and allow for their speedy forwards to get in the final third.
They will also have to be clinical with their finishing, as opportunities would be hard to come by when playing against such a defensively-sound team.
Regardless of the outcome, there will be important lessons to be learnt for both sides heading into World Cup preparation.
The Matildas will need to solve a way to break down a parked bus and play in tight spaces, as there are likely to be teams who utilise this tactic against them. Meanwhile, absorbing high pressure and breaking quickly for counter-attacks will be on South Korea’s minds as they come up against the speed and high press of Australia.
March 3, 2019 (Sunday)
Match 1: Argentina v New Zealand – 3:05pm kick-off (AEST)/4:05pm (AEDT)
Match 2: Australia v Korea Republic – 6:00pm kick-off (AEST)/7:00pm (AEDT)
Live on FoxSport 505 and MyFootballApp, delayed on SBS Viceland (Australia v Korea Republic only)