The draw against Japan saw the Matildas book a World Cup spot and a semi-final against Thailand with the winner to progress to the Asian Cup final.
There is a feeling of déjà vu with Australia having played Thailand in Perth only 22 days ago in the farewell game before the Asian Cup.
Despite the 5-0 win on that occasion, head coach Alen Stajcic said that match “doesn’t really have a bearing on this game” at his pre-match press conference.
Knockout football is a different beast and with the World Cup spots all sewn up, the focus is now solely on progressing through the tournament at hand.
Australia’s big win against Vietnam in the group stage set up their semi-final berth while Sam Kerr’s late equaliser gave the Matildas a 1-1 draw with Japan which sealed top spot in the group.
Meanwhile, Thailand scored nine goals in their last two games against host nation Jordan and the Philippines, finishing second in Group A behind China.
The two sides have met five times with Australia taking the win every time.
On top of that Australia has put 20 goals past Thailand in those games, conceding only one.
Australia – EMILY VAN EGMOND (Midfielder)
Photo: Rachel Bach
The midfielder has had a solid Asian Cup and this game could be her chance to be at her best.
If Stajcic is to play her in a more advanced role in the midfield, her ability to dictate play and be creative could wreak havoc for the Thai defence.
However, if she is deployed in a more defensive midfield role, she has the ability to start attacks and link the two halves of the pitch.
THAILAND – KANJANA SUNG-NGOEN (Striker)
Kanjana Sungngoen is Thailand’s top scorer at this Asian Cup so far with a lone goal against Jordan and a brace against the Philippines.
Stajcic mentioned her in his press conference, noting her speed as a potential threat to the Australian defence.
The 31-year-old is no stranger to important, knockout games.
Her two goals at the 2014 Asian Cup in the World Cup playoff against Vietnam secured her country’s passage to their first ever World Cup in Canada in 2015.
What to expect?
You can’t help but think back to the game in Perth when thinking about how this game might pan out.
While it was a warm-up game, there is a certain level of confidence that can be taken from a result like that but Stajcic is not about to become complacent because his team beat their opponents a few weeks ago.
“We’re expecting a tough contest … they look very good, they look very strong on the counter attack,” he said.
It is this potential threat on the counter that bodes as Thailand’s best option for goals.
While the South-East Asian nation still has the services of Sung-ngoen, they will be without the other player Stajcic mentioned in his media appearance, Suchawadee Nildhamrong.
Revelation at the #AUSvTHA press conference that Suchawadee Nildhamrong has been released from national duty to return to college exams in the United States and will not play against @TheMatildas in Tuesday night’s #WAC2018 🇯🇴 semi-final@FOXFOOTBALL #GoMatildas https://t.co/0QjrcmKkAa— Teo Pellizzeri (@teopellizzeri) April 16, 2018
The 21-year old who scored a brace against Jordan has been released to return to university in the US to take exams.
This could be a huge blow for the team as her hold up play and ability to find the back of the net would have been important in this semi-final.
Stajcic must strike the balance between giving players a rest to ensure they are fresh and putting out a strong squad.
Luckily, depth and versatility are two words the Matildas know plenty about.
The likes of Alex Chidiac, who started that game in Perth, and Aivi Luik could easily come into the starting XI for this game as the Matildas search for a third straight appearance in the Asian Cup final.
Australia v Thailand
King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman
Kick-off: 11:45pm AEST (4:45pm local)
Live on Fox Sports 501
Follow #AUSvTHA on Twitter