Unbeaten Matildas to show ruthless streak

Even though only a draw is needed to secure qualification to the 2016 Rio Olympics, Chloe Logarzo says the Matildas will be going into tonight’s game against North Korea with a ruthless approach.

After three wins in three games, the Matildas sit on top of their group with nine points and are on the brink of fulfilling their quest of qualifying for the Olympics for the first time since Athens 2004. 

To book their flights to Rio only one point is required in their remaining games against North Korea and China.

North Korea are third in the group with five points only two behind China who sit in second. A win against the Aussies would put the North Koreans in contention to qualify as one of the top two teams. Which is why the message from Matildas Head Coach Allen Stajic is that team are not in Rio yet.

“Staj is just trying to keep us level headed and make sure our confidence doesn’t turn into cockiness,” Logazro said. “So while we’re confident we can get the result we need against DPR Korea we know it’s not just going to happen so the mentality we take into the game is crucial.

 “DPR Korea like to play a little more direct so I think we just need to make sure we stay defensively sound and go into this game with the approach that we have gone into the others and that is to be positive and ruthless.

“We’re not trying to get ahead of ourselves and not think too much about what the result might be. We’ve just got to think about the first 45 minutes and then the next 45 minutes after that.”

Logarzo came into the Matildas squad to replace the injured Samantha Kerr.

With only five Australian caps, the 21-year-old was only expected to be a squad player.

The Newcastle Jets midfielder started in the opening 3-1 win against Japan and in the recent 2-0 defeat of South Korea she won the player of the match. 

Throughout the game the 21-year-old impressed with her high work-rate as well as providing a number of incisive passes to her teammates. 

The creative midfielder says that even though she relished her opportunity to play in this tournament, initially it did feel like she was thrown into the deep end.

“I’ve enjoyed it,” Logarzo said. “To an extent it has been a bit sink or swim and I think I’m swimming which is nice, but the girls are very supportive of me which is also good. If I do something wrong they just tell me to keep going.

With qualification within touching distance Logarzo says she’s only focusing on her game.

“It’s always in the back of your mind that we’re close,” she said. “But I haven’t tried to change too much from the first game up to now. I just want to keep playing my role for the team.

“I feel like I’ve gained some experience starting two games and I want to try and take everything out of this tournament that I can. Everyone is pretty stoked with the results we’ve had so far and it’s nice to see all of our hard work is paying off but we haven’t achieved what we came here to do yet.”

  • Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Click here to see more of his work and check out the latest episode of his A-League Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.