Midfielder Katrina Gorry believes the upcoming Algarve Cup gives the Westfield Matildas an opportunity to strike ‘fear’ into their fellow AFC nations ahead of April’s Asian Cup in Jordan.
Australia have been pitted in Group A alongside Norway, hosts Portugal and China for the 12-team invitational tournament.
The Matildas have arrived in Portugal following a mammoth 30-hour journey from Australia, with Alen Stajcic’s side to face Norway in their opening group game on February 28.
But it’s the clash against China which Gorry is relishing, with the Aussie midfielder challenging her side to build on their dominance over Asian opposition from 2017.
Australia thumped China twice on home soil in November – 3-0 and 5-1 – and outclassed Japan 4-2 at the Tournament of Nations in July.
“We played China a couple of months ago and we know that we scored a few goals against them and won those games, but we didn’t play our best,” Gorry told matildas.footballaustralia.com.au
“We need to instil that in them - that they want to fear us and I think that will be good leading into the Asian Cup.
“We’ve had a lot of success over the Asian teams in the last couple of months, and I think we’ve still got to instil that fear in them.”
With four matches in eight days in Portugal, the Algarve Cup gives coach Alen Stajcic the opportunity to rotate his 22-player squad with a view towards the Asian Cup.
Following a seven-match winning streak, the Matildas have jumped to fourth in the world and head to Jordan as favourites for the continental title.
And with the 2019 World Cup in France on the horizon, Gorry believes Australia can benefit immensely from winning their second Asian Cup in eight years.
“We won it a couple of years ago, I wasn’t in the team then, but I know how much confidence the girls got out of winning that tournament,” Gorry said.
“I think leading into another big tournament in next year France, we need to win and it’s something that we need for our building blocks – it will be good for us.”