Australia focused on Asian Cup semifinal showdown with Thailand

Australia focused on Asian Cup semifinal showdown with Thailand
From ESPN - April 15, 2018

Alen Stajcic insists that there is "no complacency" within Australia's ranks as they prepare to take on Thailand in the Asian Cup semifinal.

Stajcic's Matildas earned their place at the 2019 World Cup by progressing to the final four of the AFC tournament in Jordan, jumping off the canvas with a late goal against Japan to seal a 1-1 draw and top spot in their group.

They now look forward to a semifinal against Thailand late on Tuesday.

That will be the rarest of occasions -- a match deep in a tournament that should be much easier than their previous hit-out.

Japan is Australia's great Asian rival, ranked 11th in the world and are former world champions. They are also the side that eliminated the Matildas in the last World Cup and defeated them in the last Asian Cup final.

Thailand are continental easybeats.

The Matildas put five past them in a lead-up match for the Asian Cup last month in Perth, and it could have been 10.

The Thais have not been this deep in a tournament for 30 years, progressing courtesy of a much easier group.

For Stajcic, the trick is to not focus on the opponent.

"There's no complacency on our part," he told AAP. "I have been around football long enough to know you can win 5-0 one day and lose 2-0 the next to the same team.


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