Chloe Logarzo tries to get the better of her South Korean opponent.
Chloe Logarzo tries to get the better of her South Korean opponent.

Matildas left a little unnerved after Asian Cup opener

MATILDAS coach Alen Stajcic said South Korea's dour game plan was meant to be broken and his side needed to be better after playing out a scoreless draw.

Stajcic claimed it was up to the Matildas to crack the defensive tactic which took some shine off the opening Group B match of the AFC Asian Cup at King Abdullah II Stadium in Amman on Sunday morning (AEST).

The result isn't a disaster, he added, with Australia to now face Vietnam and Japan to close off the group campaign, hopeful of earning a semi-final berth and a place at the FIFA World Cup in France next year for the best five nations in Jordan.

Emily Van Egmond searches for a way through the South Korean defence.
Emily Van Egmond searches for a way through the South Korean defence.

"We needed the skill and the guile to create enough chances and in reflection we probably didn't,'' Stajcic said.

"We certainly had three or four half chances where we should have done better, especially one there at the end, and a couple of set pieces that were close.

"Look, it's the first game of the tournament, it's very difficult, players were nervous, it was a tough game and Korea as we said were aggressive.

"But they defended quite deep and they nullified the spaces.

"A 0-0 draw is a fair result but really I'm happy with our team, we defended well against such a quality team and I don't think Lydia (Williams our keeper) had to touch the ball really.

"Maybe once or twice she had to come out for a cross.

Chances were few and far between for Lisa de Vanna.
Chances were few and far between for Lisa de Vanna.

"What we lacked was that final execution in that final third, a good cross or a good cutback and that's things to work on and it's not the worst start.

"We're aggressive and we like to win and it's always disappointing when we don't win."

Matildas midfielder Emily van Egmond echoed the boss's thoughts.

She dropped deeper between the centre-backs in a bid to start play as the South Koreans were intent on retreating without pressing the ball when Australia was looking for openings in the second half.

Van Egmond praised the South Koreans for keeping their shape intact.

"The positive is that we didn't concede a goal and I guess now we're looking forward against Vietnam,'' van Egmond said.

"Obviously it's disappointing not to come away with a win but it's a tournament and we have to get over it very quickly and look forward to our next game.

"We'll be looking at doing everything we can in the next couple of days, we'll recover right and get our bodies in the best shape we can and go out and give a strong performance against Vietnam."

Katrina Gorry tries to get the Aussies moving forward.
Katrina Gorry tries to get the Aussies moving forward.

Japan currently top Group B after belting Vietnam 4-0 in the earlier clash with the reigning Asian Cup champion now facing South Korea before the Matildas host the Vietnamese on Wednesday morning (AEST).



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