China expose frailties but Matildas move closer to Olympics qualification

It was only a draw but it felt like a win for the Matildas as they topped their group in Olympics qualifying.

While the Steel Roses appeared to wilt towards the top of their previous two games, the other occurred against Australia. In fact, China registered more shots on goal within the last half than the Matildas did, including three one-on-one situations with goalkeeper Lydia Williams. except for poor finishing and an incorrect offside call, the visitors could have taken a cushty lead before Emily Van Egmond’s stoppage-time equaliser cancelled out stand-out attacker Tang Jiali’s 85th minute strike. Although they completed roughly one-third of the passes Australia did, China ended the sport with 19 shots to the Matildas’ 15, including seven on track .

All of this begs the question: how might China have performed had they been at full strength? what proportion better could they need been without their disrupted preparation? While the Matildas were undoubtedly not at their best, it’s a result that nonetheless hints at where another seismic shift is occurring within the women’s game: Asia. agen sbobet online

As our gaze has been turned towards Europe, lured by the glamour and history of the world’s biggest and most storied football nations, China has been quietly investing in women’s football. It’s a part of the nation’s 35-year decide to become the sport’s new superpower, which incorporates revolutionising youth development through a USA-style college system and streamlining national team pathways. one among China’s biggest companies, Alipay, has promised to take a position 1 billion yuan into women’s football over subsequent decade.

This is how China’s national team has been ready to train in Australia for the past several weeks, flying W-League teams up to the Gold Coast to play friendlies. They did it last year, too, and Thursday night’s result was a glimpse of what such investment can mean on the pitch. As Matildas head coach Ante Milicic said: “Of course they’re gonna recover . in fact they’re gonna be more organised, in fact they’re gonna be fitter, in fact they’re gonna have two or three alternative ways of playing. Because they’re always together.

“We need to do an equivalent otherwise we’re getting to disintegrate . the sole difference that we may have is girls being in professional environments in their clubs. If girls are playing and training weekly at a high level, it’s easy as a national team coach. That’s normal because the info is there, the stats are there, the match minutes are there, the various sorts of football are there. That’s how you recover . Simple. The women’s game isn’t what it had been four years ago. Some countries not investing, sleeping … everyone’s awake now. That’s the difference. And it’s moving at a rapid rate.”

Australia’s anxiety over the increase of Europe on the women’s football stage has distracted us from the increase of it in our own backyard. If Thursday’s result’s anything to travel by, the Matildas need to address where they’re now before they will specialise in where they are going next.

Hasenhüttl’s death-or-glory rejig revives Southampton’s menace

It took a 9-0 humiliation for the manager to switch to his beloved 4-2-2-2 system but improvement has been dramatic

For Ralph Hasenhüttl and Southampton, the primary three months of the season felt like an ordeal but the tone had been set from the very start. The manager took his team to Burnley on the opening weekend, filled with optimism and together with his first pre-season at the club behind him, only to lose 3-0 after a second-half capitulation.

“You have seven weeks to organize for the primary game then you lose the primary game which means the seven weeks were shit,” Hasenhüttl says as he prepared for the return fixture with Burnley at St Mary’s on Saturday. “This may be a clear message.”

What had been surprising was the way Hasenhüttl found out at Turf Moor. As he had finished the overwhelming majority of his matches since arriving at the club in December 2018, it had been with a back three instead of the four defenders and, specifically, the 4 2 2 2 system that he said he favoured at his unveiling news conference . After pre-season, and every one that point to figure on what Hasenhüttl calls automatisms, it had been presumed he would revert to what he liked best on a uniform basis. It didn’t happen and nor did it happen until the aftermath of the shattering 9-0 home loss to Leicester on 25 October. judi bola terbaik

Hasenhüttl didn’t change immediately. He persisted with three centre-halves for the 2 defeats at Manchester City – within the Carabao Cup and therefore the Premier League – and another reception to Everton within the league; as ever with various combinations in midfield and attack. But after resetting during the November international break, he visited 4-2-2-2, commonly mentioned as plain old 4-4-2 in England, for the visit to Arsenal and it’s no exaggeration to mention the move has transformed his tenure.
Southampton were unlucky only to draw at the Emirates but their record within the league, starting thereupon game and playing 4-2-2-2 whenever , now reads: W7 D2 L4. they need powered from second bottom to 13th place, a cushty seven points above the line and, even within the defeats, they need played some good football and created chances.

At which point the question for Hasenhüttl is as follows: why did he lose sight of what he most believed in? “Yeah, good question,” he replies. “I don’t really know the proper answer. It’s tons of influences, [such as] once I played my first game at the club against Arsenal with a back five and that we won 3-2.”

That was Arsenal’s first defeat in 23 matches and it wedded Hasenhüttl a touch uneasily to 3 central defenders, particularly as his first game – away to Cardiff – had led to a 1-0 defeat with a back four.