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Thailand v Australia: Olympic qualifying football – live! | Football

Hello, and welcome to live coverage of the Matildas’ second Olympic qualifying clash. And what a pleasure it is to return to the scene of Caitlin Foord’s hat-trick, Kyah Simon’s international resurrection, and the belated realisation that Sam Kerr is not the be all and end all of this national team. Behold Ante Milicic’s glorious goal-scoring breadth in Foord, Steph Catley, Hayley Raso, Katrina Gorry and, well, okay, Kerr did add one off the bench within three minutes in Friday night’s almost casual 7-0 job on Taiwan.

And thus, Australia are obvious favourites against Thailand, who have lost their first two games and conceded seven goals in the process. Win this one and they’ll seal a top-two finish in qualifying Group B, ensuring a home-and-away play-off next month from Group A for a ticket to Tokyod. Beat China on Thursday night at Bankwest Stadium and they will clinch top spot and avoid a likely match-up with a tough South Korea outfit. China will be the first real test, given they dealt with Thailand 6-1 on Friday and brushed aside Taiwan 5-0 in tonight’s first fixture.

In solid proof that much can happen over three days in football, Milicic has made six changes to his starting XI and nine months’ worth of water has poured into Sydney’s catchments, putting Campbelltown’s drainage system under more pressure than anyone in Emily van Egmond’s way on Friday night.

“To be fair, the ground at Campbelltown was really good considering the conditions,” said the midfielder and provider of three assists against Taiwan. “I think the rain the other night on the field was probably a good thing. I think it actually made the speed of the game a little bit quicker. It was just like wetting the pitch before any normal game. We have definitely played in worse conditions than what we experienced the other night.”

In terms of team changes, Ellie Carpenter, Aivi Luik, Alanna Kennedy (captain), Emily Gielnik, Mackenzie Arnold and Katrina Gorry are all in. They take the place of Clare Polkinghorne, Catley, Chloe Logarzo, Elise Kellond-Knight, Lydia Williams and Raso.

As ever, get in touch with any thoughts via Email or tweet @emmavkemp

Westfield Matildas

STARTING XI | Here’s how we line up tonight against Thailand!

⏰ Kick-off is 7:30pm AEDT.#THAvAUS #WeAreMatildas pic.twitter.com/nfqmXuAABo

February 10, 2020

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