Control is needed
MATILDAS FOOTBALL COACH SEEKS DOMINANCE AGAINST VISITORS CHILE
The Matildas’ main aim will be to regain their dominance when they host World Cup qualifiers Chile in the first of two internationals starting today.
Coach Alen Stajcic said in recent games Australia had not shown the level of control which characterised their performances in the past three to four years.
In the past two matches, world No. 6 Australia lost 2-0 to France and drew 1-1 with England, who are ranked fourth and third respectively.
‘‘We’ve tended to dominate almost every game in the last 18, 24 months and the last two or three we haven’t, so we want to get back to the level where we know we dominate the matches the result well and truly goes in our favour,’’ Stajcic said.
‘‘That means being able to keep the ball better, improving our passing, improving our support play.
‘‘I thought we were pretty poor in some of those areas against France and England, we didn’t have the rhythm and the fluency that we’ve had over the past period of time and I think this will be a great opportunity for us.’’
Stajcic revealed midfielder Amy Sayer, 16, had been diagnosed with a stress fracture in her foot and would need a boot for the next three to four weeks.
While Chile is ranked 39th, Stajcic described the side as technically superb.
Chile recently lost 3-0 and 4-0 to world No. 1 the United States.
‘‘Of those three goals in the first game, two of them were corners, America only scored one goal in open play, it was a tight game,’’ Stajcic said.
‘‘We’re not underestimating them (Chile) we know how good they are.
‘‘Their issue is having to travel to Australia and overcome jet lag, which is something our players have had to do all the time, so it’s going to be a tough challenge for them as well.’’
Stajcic was not stressing over protecting Australia’s world ranking, which affects seedings for next year’s World Cup and impact on the draw for the tournament in France.
‘‘Last time America were the seeded team in our group and they ended up getting the group of death as well, getting Australia, Sweden and Nigeria, so it doesn’t really guarantee anything,’’ Stajcic said.
Both today’s match at Panthers Stadium in western Sydney and Tuesday’s at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium are expected to draw about 15 000 spectators.
Ready to play: Matildas players (from left) Lisa De Vanna, Chloe Logarzo, Alanna Kennedy and Caitlin Foord are ready for two international matches starting today.