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.