Matildas 'extremely positive' ahead of final two qualifiers

The Matildas are tantalisingly close to booking a spot at the 2016 Olympics with a draw or win against DPR Korea on Monday enough to see them through to Rio.

The Aussies recorded their third successive win in qualifying tournament on Friday night (AEDT) with a 2-0 win against Korea Republic.

With only the top two teams qualifying, goals from Kyah Simon and Emily van Egmond in an opening 15 minute spell inspired by Lisa De Vanna put the Matildas within arm’s reach of August’s sporting showpiece.

After three straight wins in which they notched up 14 goals, the Matildas currently sit on top of the six team group with the nine points.

They remain two points clear of second-placed China and four points ahead of DPR Korea – both teams they are yet to play.

Which means a loss for the Matildas against DPR Korea on Monday night could still throw the tournament wide open.

Matildas continue on the rout to Rio

Pics: Korea Republic v Matildas

Speaking after their win against Korea Republic, penalty scorer Emily van Egmond said: “It wasn’t our best footballing performance but in saying that football is a funny game and sometimes you have to play it on its merits a little bit.

“We recognised early that we had some joy getting balls in behind their defence and that ended up being effective for us so we managed to seal the deal in the first half.”

It was a milestone match for van Egmond, making her 50th international appearance.

“The girls are extremely positive and confident going into these last two games,” she added.

“We are all aware that the job is not done yet, we’ve got two massive games against the teams that are also in contention and I know everyone will be fully focused.”

Goalkeeper Lydia Williams was an integral part of a sound Westfield Matildas defensive unit that managed to keep a lively and dangerous Korea Republic at bay.

The 2-0 result was the Westfield Matildas’ second clean sheet of the campaign (Williams was rested in the 9-0 victory over Vietnam), with the 27-year-old having only conceded one goal so far which came in the opening match against Japan.

Williams said: “It’s pretty exciting that we’ve put out what we wanted to from the start but we’ve still got two games to go, so it’s plan as normal, try to get five wins and then we can start to celebrate after that.

“We were under the pump a bit throughout the game but the defence put in a huge effort to keep a clean sheet, and to get the win as well gives us a lot of confidence heading into the next two games which will determine our qualification for Rio.”

The Westfield Matildas will take on DPR Korea on Monday 7 March 2016 at Yanmar Stadium Nagai in the penultimate match day of the tournament (kick-off 7.35pm local, 9.35pm AEDT).

Match Schedule

DPR Korea v Westfield Matildas

Monday 7 March 2016

Yanmar Stadium Nagai, Osaka

Kick-Off: 7:35pm local time (9:35pm AEDT)

LIVE nationally 9:30pm AEDT on 7mate

Westfield Matildas v China P.R.

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Yanmar Stadium Nagai, Osaka

Kick-Off: 7:35pm local time (9:35pm AEDT)

LIVE nationally 9:30pm AEDT on 7mate