Matildas maintain focus after shock defeat

Matildas defender Clare Polkinghorne and Marila Jose Urrutia of Chile challenge for the ball.
Matildas defender Clare Polkinghorne and Marila Jose Urrutia of Chile challenge for the ball.

Australia women's national team coach Alen Stajcic refuses to hit the panic button after his side's unexpected defeat to Chile.

The 3-2 loss against a team ranked No.39 extended the Matildas' winless run to three matches, after last month's defeat to France and draw with England.

Numerous key personnel were missing in those two matches but defeat against the South Americans came as a shock after a stellar run of results over the past 18 months.

Goalkeeper Lydia Williams barely saw the ball aside from picking the ball out of the net, while at the other end the Matildas penetrated the Chile penalty area on numerous occasions totalling 14 shots on target.

"Sometimes the results don't reflect the performance," Stajcic said.

"I think this is a fairly decent bump in the road for our team and we need to learn and grow from it to give ourselves the best chance once we get to June next year (for the World Cup).

"It has been a topsy-turvy year for sure in terms of results and the way we have played.

"Improving and development is not always a linear progression."

Two of the goals conceded at Penrith Stadium on Saturday came from a loss of possession.

But Stajcic said he won't change his team's style of building play from the back and backed his players to keep doing so.

"Some key errors cost us goals but we will keep playing that way," he said.

"We can't ask players to play out and, then when an error happens, say we are going to throw the baby out with the bathwater - we just have to be better at it.

"We have been playing with a certain style for a long time and games like this happen."

The good news for Australia is that they have an immediate opportunity to make amends against Chile on Tuesday in Newcastle.

Central defender Alanna Kennedy is likely to start after featuring in the final half hour in Penrigh while Stajcic hailed the impact made by substitutes Emily Gielnik and Katrina Gorry.

After one the biggest results in their history, Chile are expecting a more testing examination the second time around.

"Big teams like Australia don't like to lose so of course they will bounce back," Chile coach Jose Letelier said.

"They will be looking to win in front of a big crowd and the match will be tougher than this one."

Australian Associated Press