Preview: Westfield Matildas vs China PR in Geelong

After a dazzling display on Wednesday night in Melbourne, the Westfield Matildas roadshow rolls into the Victorian city of Geelong tomorrow (Sunday) for the team’s final game of the year.  

Following a swashbuckling 3-0 win over China on Wednesday – headlined by a sensational long range goal from superstar Sammy Kerr - the city of Geelong has a rare chance to see these stars of women’s football up close when Alen Stajcic’s side face China PR in the second and final match of the series.

WHEN AND WHERE

GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

Sunday 26 November 2017

Kick-Off: 4:30pm (AEDT)

*Geelong is around 75km south west of Melbourne.

RECENT MEETINGS

Wednesday night’s 3-0 win was emphatic. Australia pressed relentlessly from the start, using the flanks well and forcing the Chinese to defend deep.

China, under their new coach, set up in a traditional solid block with two quick strikers up top.

But they were never in the game. Australia suffocated them from the start; they out-ran them and out attacked relentlessly.

It was impressive.

A double from Sam Kerr – her second arguably her best in a long line of super goals this year – the highlights.

Tameka Butt also found the target while returning stars Kyah Simon came on late and showed some real quality.

The two nations also met at the Algarve Cup in March, with Australia emerging 2-1 winners.

Australia also played China PR in March 2016 as part of qualification for the Rio Olympics. Both sides had already qualified and played out a 1-1 draw.

AUSTRALIAN SQUAD NEWS

One big name should return while one might be missing.

Keeper Lydia Williams comes back into contention after being rested from game one.

But left sided attacking defender Stephanie Catley picked up an ankle injury and left the field on Wednesday night.

The indefatigable City defender was trodden on by China’s Tang Jiali. Catley battled on but was replaced at halftime.

CURRENT WORLD RANKINGS

Australia: 6

China PR: 13

 

Matildas fans

FINAL WORD

Wednesday night’s game was a clear example of how each nation plays.

Australia attacks, and attacks, and attacks with pace and good use of width.

They are relentless.

Their press in the opening 15 minutes was awesome as they put the Chinese defence under immense pressure when playing out.

For most parts of the game, China were camped in their own back third desperately trying to maintain their defensive shape as the Aussie rotations and balls in behind for the attacking wingbacks caused all sorts of problems.

Raso on the right side and Catley on the left were immense going forward, but the entire side looks in sync. 

China won’t change. They rarely do. They have a structure and stick to it. And so do the Australians.

Expect a similar game.

And with this being the final game of a breakthrough 2017 – and with spots in the 2018 Asian Cup squad on the horizon – expect this Australian team to attack the contest with the same vigour as Wednesday.

What’s more, with Sam Kerr on the pitch, anything can happen.