Analysis: Westfield Matildas gain window into unfamiliar AFC Women's Asian Cup challenge

The Westfield Matildas have discovered just how much their rivals fear them as the roadblocks to winning the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup become clearer.

Sunday morning's 0-0 draw with Korea Republic provided a window into the stifling and cautionary tactics that could well greet the world's sixth-ranked team on more than one occasion in Jordan.

The Taeguk Nangja's approach was less a matter of feeling their way into Group B and more an admission of an imbalance in firepower.

REPORT: Westfield Matildas held by resolute Korea Republic in AFC Women's Asian Cup opener

They stayed deep, narrow and showed little interest in securing anything other than a scoreless draw, eschewing the usual expectations of a nation ranked fourth for the continent.

"That's the first time I've seen them do that," injured Australia star Caitlin Foord said on Fox Sports' coverage.

"That's a credit to how we've been going, that teams are scared now. It's going to be something we'll have to break down with teams doing that more and more."

Korea Republic ceded territory to such an extent that the 2014 semi-finalists didn't muster a shot until the 93rd minute.

Sam Kerr
Sam Kerr was starved of space at King Abdullah II Stadium.

And yet, Yoon Deok-yeo's side were rewarded for their resilience and impressive organisation with a hard-earned point, potentially providing a template for others to follow.

It's relatively uncharted territory for the Westfield Matildas, at least as far major tournaments are concerned, and they must find ways to unpick the lock.

Alen Stajcic will certainly have been preparing methods to counteract the negating intentions.

Indeed, he even fielded three forward-thinking defenders in his back four in an apparent effort to pre-empt the opposition's approach.

Katrina Gorry, Tameka Butt and Emily van Egmond - none of whom are shy around goal - were also grouped in a power-packed midfield.

While the gamble failed to yield three points in this instance, another chance to refine the plans that could determine Australia's tournament may arrive in the clash with Vietnam on Wednesday morning (AEST).

Tameka Butt
Tameka Butt's scoring nous could prove essential.