Former national team striker Sarah Walsh outlines what is needed to beat Brazil in the quarter final of the Games on Saturday morning.
First, let me say, this will be an amazing clash. Two fabulous attacking sides, big stars, a huge crowd.
This will be a match to really enjoy, irrespective of the final result. But who’ll progress into the semis?
If it’s Australia we must...
Stop Formiga and Co’s supply
It goes without saying that we must have a 90 minute defensive performance. And not just down back but stopping the supply lines from the indefatigable Formiga in midfield. That’ll be a key battle we must win.
Shackle Marta and their new gen strikers
I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a bit more pace brought in down back by “Staj” to handle Marta and Co. Speaking of Marta, her partnership with Cristiane is legendary (though Cristiane may not play I’m hearing). But Beatriz and Andressa Alves are definitely the future of the Brazil national team and those two future stars need to be given respect.
Keep our shape
Not sure we did that well enough in the training match against Brazil in July. In a game like this, concentration and maintaining our shape will be absolutely key in such a hostile environment with a big crowd. But our players have a fair bit of experience now and will be able to handle it. There’ll be nerves but they’ll feed off that big crowd.
Unleash our attacking ability
Australia has not had too many issues scoring goals. Up top we are very strong and we must make the most of our strengths in that part of the park if we are to hurt this Brazilian side.
Hope the pressure tells on the home side
The pressure is on Brazil, but they are on a roll. Despite drawing with South Africa in the group, they were smart and rested many players. The weight of the nation is on Brazil's shoulders.