Matildas riding momentum for China clash

Avoiding South Korea in the knock-out stages of Olympic qualification will be the Matildas' major prize in Thursday's blockbuster clash with China in Sydney.

Hat-trick hero Emily van Egmond says the Matildas are ready to ride the wave of momentum in their blockbuster Olympic qualifier with China.

The Melbourne City midfielder was a circuit-breaker for Australia in Monday night's 6-0 thrashing of Thailand at Sydney's Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

The Matildas had been frustrated by the Chaba Kaew before van Egmond struck a quick-fire double on the stroke of halftime and added a third after the break.

It continued van Egmond's rich vain of form in green and gold after bagging three assists in their 7-0 demolition of Taiwan to open the tournament.

Revelling in her maiden international hat-trick, van Egmond was upbeat on Australia's chances of producing a clean sweep at Bankwest Stadium on Thursday night.

"The good thing is you can see that we're starting to create a lot of box entries and goal-scoring opportunities," she said.

"If we can continue that and take that momentum into the game against China, I think it'll be a positive step for us."

The rout left Australia only needing to draw against the Steel Roses to top their group and avoid South Korea in the home-and-away playoffs.

The world No.20 Koreans beat Vietnam 3-0 to clinch top seed of group A on Sunday.

Sharing the points with China would be enough for Australia to book a matchup with second-place finishers Vietnam, ranked 25 spots below them in the world rankings.

But Matildas coach Ante Milicic won't be satisfied with anything less than victory.

"If we're going to be a serious team, we've got to win three games from three," he said.

"Nothing changes for us with the scenario. We'll play the same way. There's no buffer."

Alanna Kennedy, stand-in skipper for Sam Kerr against Thailand, said the players were unconcerned by the Chinese women's team's recent stint in quarantine because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

"Everyone who brought the tournament here have put our minds at ease, knowing that our health and safety was put first," the star defender said on Tuesday.

"Our focus is solely on the game and we're pretty sure everyone's healthy."


AAP