Out with the old and in with the new; the Matildas triumph

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The Matildas maintain their goal of keeping a clean sheet, going two from two, after a 4-0 victory against the Filipinas on Monday evening.

Usually a game is team A vs team B, however, this game largely focused a spotlight on ex-Matildas coach, Alen Stajcic, who has taken the reigns over in the Philippines.

The Matildas felt they had a point to prove and that expectation lingered on the field and through their play where the opposition’s pressure proved too much to be able to capitalise.

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Giving credit where credit is due, Stajcic’s Filipinas held the Matildas for the entirety of the first half, they played closely and put their bodies in front of shots to ensure Australia couldn’t concede.

Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson quashed concerns around their attack after the Matildas only found their efforts rewarded in the second half despite all the missed opportunities in the first.

“The stats said we should be up three or 4-0 in the first half. We just needed to put them away, we didn’t convert the chances,” he said.

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“There’s a lot of variation in our attack, we were sharp in our central combinations, but Philippines forced us out wide.

“It’s more so that I’m impressed by the Philippines defence rather than concerned about our attack.”

Someone who created those chances upfront was Steph Catley, her corner executions hit the target and two out of the four goals were scored off corners.

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Catley said that although her side was in control of the game, the atmosphere changed during the first half because they knew they needed to score but it just wasn’t happening.

“We weren’t quite finishing them off and sometimes in a game like that it makes things feel tense,” Catley said.

“We needed that breakthrough in the second half.”

An unconcerned Gustavasson said he has something different to use in every different game which works to their advantage.

The Matildas aim to maintain their clean sheet in their upcoming fixture against Thailand on Thursday night.

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Ash Ramos
Journalism student at Curtin University covering Perth Glory for the 2021/22 A-leagues season. Siuuu

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