AFC Women's Asian Cup preview: Westfield Matildas v Korea Republic

The Westfield Matildas' quest to win a second AFC Women's Asian Cup begins against familiar rivals Korea Republic in Jordan early Sunday morning (AEST).

Australia's exciting new generation appear primed to add to the 2010 triumph as they set about proving they are ready to take the next step.

A significant prize in its own right, the tournament also provides the perfect platform for an assault on next year's FIFA Women's World Cup.

Qualification needs to be secured first, though, and that's far from a simple task with only the top five finishers progressing to France 2019.

And in a difficult group that also features Japan and Vietnam, starting on the front foot will be essential to going all the way.

READ: Get to know the Westfield Matildas' 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup opponents

VIDEO: Nike launch fresh Westfield Matildas kit


King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman, Jordan

Date: Saturday, 7 April local (Sunday, 8 April AEST)

Kick-off: 8:00pm local (3:00am AEST)


Australia boast a dominant recent record against Korea Republic, winning each of the previous four meetings between the teams.

The last of those came at the Olympic Games qualification tournament in March 2016, when Kyah Simon and Emily van Egmond struck inside 15 minutes to secure a 2-0 victory.

READ: Why the Asian Cup is so special for Kyah Simon

Simon was also on target in a 1-0 friendly win in Incheon in November 2015.

Most encouraging is that the Westfield Matildas have won all four of the two nations' prior AFC Women's Asian Cup clashes, prevailing in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2014, the latter a 2-1 semi-final triumph.

Emily van Egmond
Emily van Egmond netted from the spot when the teams last met.


  • 25/03/1996: Tri Series in Auckland - 1-0 win
  • 29/03/1996: Tri Series in Auckland - 2-1 loss
  • 13/01/2002: Australia Cup in Wagga Wagga - 1-0 win
  • 16/01/2002: Australia Cup in Albury - 1-0 win
  • 19/01/2002: Australia Cup in Bendigo - 4-1 win
  • 26/01/2003: Australia Cup in Canberra - 2-0 win
  • 25/07/2003: International Friendly in Sendai - 0-0 draw
  • 26/07/2005: International Friendly in Jeonju - 0-0 draw
  • 28/07/2005: International Friendly in Jeonju - 3-0 loss
  • 16/07/2006: AFC Women's Asian Cup in Adelaide - 4-0 win
  • 31/05/2008: AFC Women's Asian Cup in Ho Chi Minh City - 2-0 win
  • 21/05/2010: AFC Women's Asian Cup in Chengdu - 3-1 win
  • 21/10/2010: Peace Queen Cup in Suwon - 2-1 loss
  • 11/09/2011: Olympic Games qualifiers in Jinan - 2-1 win
  • 22/05/2014: AFC Women's Asian Cup in Ho Chi Minh City - 2-1 win
  • 29/11/2015: International Friendly in Incheon - 1-0 win
  • 04/03/2016: Olympic Games qualifiers in Osaka - 2-0 win
Kyah Simon 2010
Kyah Simon at the Peace Queen Cup in 2010.


Alen Stajcic's options have been boosted by the return to fitness of key quartet Steph Catley, Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon and Emily Gielnik.

None of the four have featured since the end of the Westfield W-League season, but Stajcic has confirmed two will start while the other pair will be in the matchday squad.

Star forward Caitlin Foord was ruled out of the 23-player roster due to injury, meaning there could be more opportunities for the likes of Larissa Crummer and Alex Chidiac.

READ: Catley reflects on Australia's rise since 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup

Steph Catley
Steph Catley has been a welcome sight in training.


Australia: 6

Korea Republic: 16


As they have done in the past, Australia should have too much class for Korea Republic.

Results may have been mixed at the Algarve Cup but, after spending a good chunk of time together in recent months, the Westfield Matildas appear fit and ready to launch into the tournament.

That will need to be the case come Sunday morning (AEST) with Chelsea attacker Ji So-yun capable of being a game-changer in what will be her 100th international cap.

Keeping the talented Korean quiet is imperative, while leaders Clare Polkinghorne and Lisa De Vanna should help ensure there is no hint of complacency at the beginning of a golden chance for success.