Wednesday’s second leg against Uzbekistan appears to be a foregone conclusion but for some players the game will make or break their aspirations

By name, the Matildas’ match on Wednesday is the second leg of the final stage of Olympic qualification. By nature, it is – in front of more than 50,000 fans in Melbourne – a cut-throat audition.

Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Uzbekistan in the first leg has made the return clash resemble something of a dead rubber. But to the desperate players not yet entrenched in the national set up, the match’s significance now looms in even sharper focus: it represents a critical examination to make or break Olympic aspirations. To secure a place on the plane to Paris, time is running out.

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