Matildas blow: Yallop positive COVID test

Matildas midfielder Tameka Yallop has tested positive for COVID-19 as the Asian Cup in India.
Matildas midfielder Tameka Yallop has tested positive for COVID-19 as the Asian Cup in India.

The Matildas' Asian Cup campaign has suffered a blow with experienced midfielder Tameka Yallop expected to be unavailable until the semi-finals after testing positive for COVID-19.

Football Australia says the rest of the squad and staff returned negative tests and Yallop is isolating for at least a week away from her Matildas teammates in Mumbai.

Under Asian Football Confederation rules, players must return a negative test and be asymptomatic after seven days in isolation before being allowed to link up with teammates.

Yallop played in Australia's win over the Philippines on January 24 but she will not be able to feature in the Matildas' final group game with Thailand in Mumbai on Friday morning (1am AEDT).

She will also miss their January 30 quarter-final, expected to be against either of heavyweights South Korea and Japan, as she will still be isolating.

Yallop's diagnosis will no doubt have sent a scare through the Matildas' camp given the impact COVID-19 has already had on the tournament.

Hosts India were forced to withdraw from the tournament earlier this week when positive COVID-19 cases and injuries meant they were unable to raise a team for their game with Taiwan.

Under the Asian Football Confederation's rules, teams are excluded from the competition if they are unable to name 13 fit players.

Tony Gustavsson's side are already qualified for the knockout stage of the tournament and the Swedish coach has enough cover to deal with due to Yallop's absence for the Thailand game.

The last time Australia met Thailand at this tournament in 2018 they were held to a 2-2 draw in the semi-finals before winning on penalties and defender Alanna Kennedy said they needed to be wary of their opponents' resolve.

"I think it's important that we don't underestimate them," she said.

"Obviously it was a lesson learned last time around and I think over the last couple of games we are looking to carry that same mentality and focus into this game and hopefully come out with a strong performance and the win.

"It's important that we stay focused and concentrated through the whole 90.

"It's important for us as defenders (because) we want to keep a clean sheet every game with no lapses of concentration back there.

"(It's) also just the patience on the ball to know things will open up and we'll get those goals."

Australian Associated Press