Preview - Group B: Past meetings to boost China PR ahead of Australia clash
Sydney: China PR are hoping four trips to Australia in the last two and a half years will arm them with the knowledge they need to challenge Ante Milicic’s Matildas when Group B of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament concludes at Western Sydney Stadium on Thursday.
Superior goal difference means the hosts require only a draw to top the group – and set up a play-off with Vietnam – but Chinese boss Jia Xiuquan believe his side’s familiarity with local conditions will minimise Australia’s home ground advantage.
Logarzo: We have to play like we’re already in Tokyo
Sydney: Australia’s women’s national team may still be playing in the qualifying rounds of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but they will aim to produce a level of performance worthy of the main event when they face China PR on Thursday, according to midfielder Chloe Logarzo.
While both sides have already sealed their places in the final play-off round, top spot of Group B in the AFC Women’s Olympic Tournament remains up for grabs in Thursday’s encounter and Logarzo believes the Matildas will be anything but complacent at Western Sydney Stadium.
“No. Actually, for the first time going into a major tournament, I don’t think there is any complacency,” said Logarzo, who scored the opening goal in the last meeting between the sides; a 2-0 Australian win just under two years ago.
Sydney: Jia Xiuquan praised his side after they booked their place in next month’s AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament play-off round, but the China PR boss said his side still need time to recover their physical condition.
The Steel Roses once again brushed off an interrupted preparation to achieve a handsome victory, this time scoring an excellent 5-0 win over Chinese Taipei despite being restricted to indoor training due to Sydney’s wild weekend weather.
Sunday’s downpour was particularly poorly timed given China’s inability to properly train in the week prior to the tournament, but their on-field performances have seemingly been unaffected, with Monday’s result following an earlier 6-1 win over Thailand.
Sydney: Australia head coach Ante Milicic revealed his satisfaction with another commanding AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament win, heaping praise on Emily van Egmond after the attacking midfielder bagged a hat-trick in Monday’s 6-0 win over Thailand.
The win, which sealed Australia’s place in next month’s Play-off round, was another commanding performance from Milicic’s side, who can now finish as Group B winners with a draw or win against China PR on Thursday.
Qualifiers Final Round - Group B: Thailand 0-6 Australia
Leumeah: Australia sealed their place in the final Play-off round of the AFC Women’s Olympic Tournament, producing another convincing display to overwhelm Thailand 6-0 at the Campbelltown Stadium on Monday.
An Emily van Egmond hat-trick, a Kyah Simon brace and a further goal from substitute Hayley Raso gave Australia the handsome win they needed to retain top spot in the group on goal difference, meaning only a draw is required against China PR on Thursday for Ante Milicic’s side to finish as Group B winners.
While Australia continue to make smooth progress on the road to Tokyo 2020, Monday’s result was the end of the road for Thailand, who suffered a third successive defeat to finish bottom of the group.
Bell urges Korea Republic to remain focused for Play-offs
Jeju: Head coach Colin Bell wants his Korea Republic players to stay on their toes after the East Asians defeated Vietnam 3-0 to seal top spot in Group A of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Sunday.
The Taeguk Ladies found a way past an ultra defensive Vietnam with goals from Jang Sel-gi, Choo Hyo-joo and Ji So-yun to set up a date with the Group B runners-up in next month’s Play-offs.
Vietnam, who claimed second spot, will face the Group B winners with the triumphant teams from the Play-offs joining hosts Japan as Asia’s representatives at the 2020 Olympics.