Stajcic wary of ‘spirited’ Vietnam

Westfield Matildas boss Alen Stajcic has squashed suggestions Vietnam will be an easy proposition for his side in their second group match at the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup on Wednesday morning (AEST).

Australia have never lost – or even conceded a goal – in six previous clashes with Vietnam, including 9-0 and 11-0 wins in their two most recent meetings.

It makes the Westfield Matildas – the sixth-ranked nation in the world – hot favourites for the clash in Amman.

“It’s a very dangerous mentality going in there thinking you are going to win and by how many,” Stajcic said ahead of the clash.

“When we played them in the Asian Cup four years ago the result was 2-0 and we scored a lucky goal.

“We never underestimate anyone. We’re going in there for three points first and foremost, we need to win to stay alive.”

Steph Catley

The Westfield Matildas were held to a goalless draw in their opening group match against Korea Republic on the weekend, meaning three points is a must in this one ahead of a final game against Japan.

While Vietnam were beaten 4-0 by Japan in their opening fixture, Stajcic was impressed by their performance and believes the Vietnamese were “physically sharper” than the Samurai Blue.

“We saw [Vietnam] play the other night  and they were very tough and courageous against Japan,” Stajcic said,

“They conceded an early goal but they fought for the whole 90 minutes and made it very hard for Japan. We know how much courage they’ve got and how much effort they put into the game.

“We expect a tough game against a very spirited team but it’s an important game for us so we need to make sure we bring our full attention to the game and make sure we get three points.”

Stajcic was non-committal on how many changes he would make to his starting side from the side that was held by Korea.

Chloe Logarzo