Goal difference could prove crucial in Friday morning’s (AEST) clash with Japan but the Westfield Matildas won’t change their approach in their final match of the Tournament of Nations.
That’s the message from goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who is adamant performance – rather than focusing on scoring goals – is the way Australia must approach the match in Chicago.
The Westfield Matildas are currently level on points and goal difference with host nation USA – who face Brazil later on Friday – heading into the final round of matches.
It means Alen Stajcic’s side will need to better the USA’s result to ensure they retain the title they won last year.
“It will be maintaining our performance and getting a good result, maybe not necessarily the score line,” said Williams when asked if the Westfield Matildas need to be extra attacking against Japan.
“I think the way the women’s game is evolving now, 1-0 score lines are a lot more viable in a tournament leading to the World Cup.
“The better we do play, we can build on scoring goals but I think it’s about being focused.”
Focus was a massive part of Australia’s performance against the USA on Monday.
It looked like they would hold on for a 1-0 win over the world’s number one ranked side until a loss of concentration from a corner in the final minute allowed the Americans to equalise.
While buoyed by their display against the USA, the side was left frustrated by how close they came to another famous win, with Williams and defender Alanna Kennedy involved in a heated discussion after the match.
“We were just disappointed that it was the last corner of the game and they’d just scored and was just in the heat of the moment,” the shot-stopper explained.
“The emotions were running high and we were both pretty disappointed that we got scored against.
“I think they had 15 corners or something so it’s hard to maintain with all that pressure building against you.”
WATCH THE WESTFIELD MATILDAS TAKE ON REIGNING AFC ASIAN CUP CHAMPIONS JAPAN AT 7.45AM AEST ON FRIDAY 3 AUGUST, LIVE ON FOX SPORTS 505.
Asked if the AFC Women’s Asian Cup final loss to Japan was still on the player’s minds heading into Friday, Williams said: “A little bit.
“Obviously, you can’t really focus on past performances too much.
“So, whilst it still burns a little bit that we didn’t get the Asian Cup, we got the main goal of qualifying for the World Cup and this a chance to get that revenge a little bit.”
Westfield Matildas v Japan
Date: Thursday, 2 August 2018 (local)
Venue: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois
Kick-off: 4.45pm (local) (7.45am AEST – Friday, 3 August 2018)
Broadcast: LIVE in Australia on FOX SPORTS 505 and the My Football Live app