It was the first time the Matildas had defeated Japan on home soil and also placed Australia at the top of the standings after Match Day 1.
Vietnam on the other hand, suffered a first round defeat to China. The 2-0 loss places them at the bottom of the table. Despite the result, the “Golden Girls” will take some confidence from the match after keeping their opponents goalless until the second half.
Co-captain and veteran Lisa De Vanna is one player certain to be rested from the match, while a number of players who started against Japan will move to the bench as the Westfield Matildas prepare to back up less than 48 hours after their historic and memorable win over the host country in their tournament opener.
It is the norm for Australia to look to rotate in tournaments wherever they can. Vietnam is one such opportunity and Stajcic has already advised that there will be 6 or 7 changes to the starting line up.
Many of the line up against Japan will be rested as the Matildas look to remain fresh with the likes of Ashleigh Sykes, Tameka Butt and Caitlin Cooper set to feature.
“We only had four players who didn’t get on against Japan plus the three substitutes that came on so at the moment,” said Stajcic.
“I’m expecting that the majority of those players will start.”
Another player set to come on and debut is 15 year old Western Sydney Wanderers defender Ellie Carpenter.
A debut tonight would see Carpenter become the youngest player in years – since Sam Kerr in 2008 – to debut for the Matildas. Although the record for the youngest matildas debut is still held by Sharon Wass ( 14 years 240 days v New Zealand in 1981). Carpenter would, however, become the first 2000 born Matilda.
Australia and Vietnam have met four times since 2010 with with the Matildas taking it out every time. The last two matches saw the Matildas put 15 goals in the back of the net.
“I’m almost wiping those two games we played against them in Sydney before last year’s World Cup because Vietnam only came over at the last minute and maybe they weren’t as well prepared as they could have been.”
“We’re certainly not going to be complacent. We’ll show them a lot of respect, and getting these three points will be just as crucial as the ones we got against Japan.”
Australia have not conceded a goal against Vietnam yet, and will be hoping to continue this streak. Australia has dominated in all areas of the field against Vietnam in the past and with a relatively fresh XI, in comparison to Vietnam, they will be looking to continue the trend.
Australia’s Player to watch: Tameka Butt
The last time Australia played Vietnam, the dynamic midfielder had a field day using all her pace and skill to set up teammates in the final third.
The attacking midfielder should have a similar role to play against Vietnam or could possibly be played further up the park as she has at times with Brisbane Roar. Either way, “Meeks” ability to find space in the box will be key against a defensive wall.
Vietnam’s Player to watch: Dang Thi Kieu Trinh
She saved a penalty in the game against China and was unlucky to have two goals scored against her Monday night. She can read the play of the ball and understands where she needs to be.
She is a shot stopper and could frustrate the Australian forwards if they are not entirely accurate. Her only downfall is her height, which was a disadvantage against China after the ball was lobbed over her head.
What to expect?
Vietnam enter the tournament as the 29th in the world and are ranked the lowest of all the six teams competition for Olympic places.
This should be a very different match to the Matildas high tempo, high pressure opening game.
In their opener against China, the Vietnamese displayed great defensive discipline with strong organization. For all their possession – and they had nearly 65% of it – China were unable to find space in behind the back four.
For Australia, it is going to be about building pressure. It will be about varying the points of attack so Vietnam can never be set and it will be about tempo.
China coach Bruno Bini spoke about his side setting their pace to Vietnam, that is a trap Australia will want avoid.
“I’ve watched their game against China and they were very well organised and made it hard for China to score,” said Stajcic.
“The two goals China scored were off a corner and the other one was a penalty. Aside from that they didn’t really create many other chances.”
If they are to find space in behind the back four and the goalkeeper, it will be about high tempo, quick passing and speed.
For Vietnam, their strategy is playing long balls to the attackers to take advantage of their pace and agility. If not alert to this, it could catch the Australian defensive line – who will be looking to push up and support – off guard.
Australia v Vietnam
Wednesday 2 March 2016
Yanmar Stadium Nagai, Osaka
Kick-Off: 4:35pm local time (6:35pm AEDT)
LIVE nationally 9:30pm AEDT on 7mate (LIVE stream: 7Live.com.au)
Last three meetings
21 May 2015 – Australia 11-0 Vietnam (Friendly)
19 May 2015 – Australia 4-0 Vietnam (Friendly)
18 May 2014 – Vietnam 0-2 Australia (AFC Women’s Asian Cup)