Preview – Group B: Matildas urged to avoid complacency as heavyweights look to advance
Sydney: Australia head coach Ante Milicic has urged his players not to take Thailand lightly in their next AFC Women’s Olympic qualifying fixture, with both the Matildas and China PR able to seal places in the final play-off round on Monday.
The Steel Roses, who beat Thailand 6-1 in their opening match on Friday, are in action against Chinese Taipei, with both China and Australia to advance with a match to spare with wins on Matchday Three.
Sydney: China PR captain Wu Haiyan believes there is more to come from her side, after they claimed a superb 6-1 win over Thailand in their first AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament match on Friday.
With the difficulties faced in the final days of their pre-tournament preparation now well-documented, Jia Xiuquan’s side blew two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup participants Thailand away, scoring four goals before the interval on the way to a dominant victory.
Sydney: Kyah Simon was a picture of happiness after helping Australia to a 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei on Friday, in an appearance which ended an injury-ridden 489-day hiatus from the national team.
The 28-year-old made a significant impact in her international return, supplying the assist for the first of Cailtin Foord’s three goals and showing a level of form and fitness which has eluded her for much of the last two years.
it was Simon’s first appearance under head coach Ante Milicic, with the Melbourne City star thrilled to play her part in an important win.
Jia: Mental strength made up for China PR's physical challenges
Sydney: China PR head coach Jia Xiuquan paid tribute to his side’s mental toughness, after they closed an exceptionally challenging week with a stunning 6-1 win against Thailand in the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Friday.
Unable to train and confined to their Brisbane hotel for an extended period as a result of health precautions, the Steel Roses showed they have an iron will, producing four first-half goals to claim a commanding victory a little over 24 hours after arriving in Sydney.
With three points emphatically secured, Jia revealed his satisfaction at his team’s ability to overcome their trying circumstances.
Milicic sees room for improvement despite Australia masterclass
Sydney: A largely satisfied Ante Milicic said his Australian side still need to improve defensively if they are to challenge the world’s best, after they cantered to a 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei in their opening AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifier on Friday.
A Caitlin Foord hat-trick helped the Matildas avoid any slip ups on a sodden Campbelltown Stadium pitch, but Milicic seized on a handful of sloppy defensive moments, including one which saw Chinese Taipei striker Lee Hsiu-chin hit the woodwork, as something for his star-studded side to work on.
In their first competitive match since the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 – where long balls over the back four caused regular problems for Milicic’s side – the Australian boss said the issue remains a long-term concern.
Qualifiers Final Round - Group B: Australia 7-0 Chinese Taipei
Leumeah: Australia lived up to their billing as Group B’s top-ranked side, getting their AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers campaign off to a dominant start with a 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei at Campbelltown Stadium on Friday.
Caitlin Foord bagged a first-half hat-trick against former club coach Kazuo Echigo, while Steph Catley, Hayley Raso and substitutes Sam Kerr and Katrina Gorry also found the back of the net as the Matildas outclassed the 40th-ranked visitors.
While Ante Milicic’s side took trouble-free first steps on the road to Tokyo, Chinese Taipei are now likely to require a win against China PR on Monday if they are to keep their Olympic dream alive.