Matildas seek better defence and attack

Matildas coach Alen Stajcic wants improved defence and attack in the return match against Chile.
Matildas coach Alen Stajcic wants improved defence and attack in the return match against Chile.

Matildas coach Alen Stajcic will demand improvement at both ends of the field, as he seeks swift vengeance on Chile after Saturday's shock loss.

The teams meet on Tuesday at Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium, three days after Chile's 3-2 win in Sydney.

While there's been plenty of comment on sloppy defending which had contributed to all three goals, Stajcic has stressed Australia, who are winless in their past three games, also need to sharpen their attack.

Both of the Matildas' goals came from the penalty spot and they were unable to capitalise in open play, despite bossing large parts of the game against a nation ranked 33 places lower.

"Chile had four chances and executed three and that's why they deserved to win the game, so we have to be better in both ends of the park," Stajcic said on Monday.

"We did gift those two or three goals away and then we had our chances.

"We didn't capitalise on some of our crosses. Some of our decision making in the penalty box and finding the spare player was poor.

"Unless that improves, we're not going to beat anyone, so we really need to improve that as we go along.

"It's not something you can address overnight, but it is something that we're focused on and are looking at ways to improve."

Stajcic suggested Australia would need to make mental adjustments, having failed to keep up the pressure in the second half after bombarding Chile's goal with 11 first-half shots.

"I think it was the combination of possibly the heat and the scoreboard pressure and we just lost our way and that's something that we need to improve with our mentality," Stajcic said.

"We can't let an element of the game affect or distract us as much as what it did on the weekend."

Stajcic said might be three or four changes to his starting side.

Midfielder Emily van Egmond, who scored both penalties in the first game, stressed Australia wouldn't stray from their traditional attacking style.

"Staj backs us to play a specific style of play which has been successful for us in the past and a few defensive lapses isn't going to stop us from how we play or what we want to do," van Egmond said.

Australian Associated Press