Australia women's national soccer team

(Redirected from Matildas)

The Australia women's national soccer team is overseen by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Australia, which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. The team's official nickname is "the Matildas" (from the Australian folk song "Waltzing Matilda"); they were known as the "Female Socceroos" before 1995.[2]

Australia
Nickname(s)Matildas, Tillies
AssociationFootball Australia
ConfederationOFC (Oceania): 1966–2006
AFC (Asia): 2006–present
Sub-confederationAFF (Southeast Asia)
Head coachTony Gustavsson
CaptainSam Kerr
Most capsClare Polkinghorne (164)
Top scorerSam Kerr (69)
FIFA codeAUS
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 12 Steady (15 March 2024)[1]
Highest4 (December 2017)
Lowest16 (October 2003 – June 2004; September 2005)
First international
 Australia 2–2 New Zealand 
(Sydney, Australia; 6 October 1979)
Biggest win
 Australia 21–0 American Samoa 
(Auckland, New Zealand; 9 October 1998)
Biggest defeat
 United States 9–1 Australia 
(Ambler, United States; 5 June 1997)
World Cup
Appearances8 (first in 1995)
Best resultFourth place (2023)
Olympic Games
Appearances4 (first in 2000)
Best resultFourth place (2020)
Asian Cup
Appearances7 (first in 1975)
Best resultChampions (2010)
Oceanian Cup
Appearances7 (first in 1983)
Best resultChampions (1994, 1998, 2003)
Southeast Asian Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2008)
Best resultChampions (2008)
WebsiteOfficial website

Australia is a three-time OFC champion, one-time AFC champion and one-time AFF champion. The team has represented Australia at the FIFA Women's World Cup on eight occasions (once as co-host in 2023) and at the Olympic Games on four, although it has won neither tournament.

History edit

Foundation edit

The Australian Women's Soccer Association (AWSA) was founded in 1974[3] and a representative Australian team competed at the 1975 AFC Women's Championship. This team was officially recognised in May 2023, with all 16 members of the squad officially awarded caps.[4] Pat O’Connor captained this team, and her husband Joe was head coach. After finishing runner-up in their group which featured Thailand and Singapore, the Australians would lose 3–2 in the semi-final against New Zealand. A 5–0 win against Malaysia in the third-place playoff meant that the national team came third in the first Asian Cup.[5]

A national team made up primarily of players from New South Wales and Western Australia was sent to the 1978 inaugural Women's World Invitational Tournament, in Taipei, Taiwan.[6] Australia, coached by Jim Selby,[7] played against club teams at the tournament and none of the players' appearances counted as official caps.[8] Prior to May 2023, Australia's first official international match was considered to be against New Zealand at Seymour Shaw Park in Miranda, New South Wales, Australia on 6 October 1979, as it was billed as the "1st Australian Women's International Soccer Test". Jim Selby remained as coach. A lack of resources meant Australia's subsequent seven official matches were all against New Zealand.[9]

The 1980s: Development in Oceania edit

Australia played in the first Oceania Cup in 1983 in New Caledonia, losing the final to New Zealand in extra time. It was the first time the Australians faced a team other than the "Football Ferns" of New Zealand.[10] A team would not be assembled again until the next edition of the tournament in 1986 tournament in New Zealand, which featured Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan, as well as New Zealand's B team. Australia lost in the final again, beaten 4–1 by Taiwan.[11][12]

Throughout the 1980s, the team did not have an official playing kit of its own. The only playing kits available were hand-me-downs that had been donated or discarded by men's teams. Although the players were proud to be wearing an Australian strip, they were never supplied with a kit that fitted them properly. Moreover, on the eve of one international tour, several players famously had to sew the team crest onto their tracksuit jackets with a needle and thread.[13]

The late 80s had Australia encountering the American and European teams for the first time in the 1987 Women's World Invitational Tournament in Taiwan, and the 1988 FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament in China. For the latter tournament, the players had to sew themselves the own Australian crests onto the team tracksuits.[14] Two years later, Australia hosted the 1989 Oceania Cup in Brisbane with Australia entering two teams in Australia A and B.[15] After originally being separated in the two groups,[16] neither team made to the final with Chinese Taipei defeating both Australia B and Australia A to force the Australians to take on each other for the third-place playoff which would be rained out.[17][18]

The following edition in 1991 tournament doubled as qualifiers for the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup, and the winner was determined by the best results from a group.[19] Australia finished level on points with New Zealand, but had scored fewer goals, which resulted in New Zealand progressed to the World Cup as OFC representative.[20]

The 1990s: Continued growth edit

Between 1991 and 1994, the Matildas played internationally during a tour of Russia in 1994.[citation needed] The Oceania tournament in 1994 again doubled as World Cup qualifiers in the same round-robin format. Again, Australia finished even with New Zealand on points but this time had a superior goal difference, and qualified for their first FIFA Women's World Cup.[12]

Before 1995, the nickname for the women's team was just "Female Socceroos", derivative of the male squad. Thus in 1995 the Australian Women's Soccer Association joined with Special Broadcasting Service to broadcast a naming competition for the female team. Out of five names, the popular vote chose "Matildas", from the song "Waltzing Matilda". The players themselves did not approve of the name, and took years to use the moniker to describe the team.[21]

At the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden, Australia were grouped with the United States, China and Denmark. During their opening match against Denmark, they lost 5–0.[22] During the team's second match, a 4–2 loss to China, Angela Iannotta scored Australia's first goal at a World Cup.[22] In the final group match against cup holders the United States, Australia scored first but went on to lose 4–1.[22]

In 1996, the team entered into its first kit sponsorship deal, with rising sportswear brand Asics. The deal was initiated during a chance conversation between team manager Tom Sermanni, the CEO of the AWSA, Peter Hugg, and an Asics' representative, Lawrie McKinna, who had become a fan of women's football due to his acquaintance with former team member Janine McPhee. Asics and team management jointly developed the design of the first sponsored strip; it incorporated new technology that made it lighter and more comfortable for the players than their previous kit.[13]

The Matildas would assert their Continental strength at the 1998 Oceania Cup, which doubled as a World Cup qualifying tournament. Australia thrashed their Pacific island opposition in their group games and semi-final, before defeating hosts New Zealand in the final 3–1 (the only goal conceded for the tournament), and qualifying for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup in USA. At the tournament, Australia was grouped with Sweden, China and Ghana. In their opening match, they secured their first non-loss in a World Cup match with a 1–1 draw against the Ghanaians.[23] Their following group matches were both 3–1 losses, finishing third in the group.[24][25]

Australia still did not have much attention and respect, with the Matildas forced to train with second-hand equipment from the Socceroos, not getting paid and with few games to play.[12] In 1999, to promote themselves and raise funds for the team, most of the Matildas posed for an AWSA board-approved nude calendar, which sold over 40,000 units.[21][26]

2000–2004: First Olympics appearances edit

The profile built for the sport carried into 2000, where the Matildas had a guaranteed spot for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. While in January a friendly match against the Czech Republic in Melbourne's Bob Jane Stadium attracted only 1,500 spectators, a crowd of 10,000 came to the Matildas' game against China at the Sydney Football Stadium in June.[21] Much anticipation surrounded the team's Olympic performance on home soil, but a 3–0 loss to Germany in their opening game brought those hopes down. A draw with Sweden and a final loss to Brazil ended their tournament in the first round. While the on-field performance was disappointing, attendances at matches were high for women's soccer in Australia, raising the profile of the game.

The team were the host nation for an annual invitational tournament called the Australia Cup, from 1999 to 2004 inclusive, winning it twice.

Following the Olympics, many problems halted the Matildas' schedules. As Ernie Merrick backed out on his intentions to coach the team, Adrian Santrac only took over as manager in November, and Australia played no games in 2001. The following year the team argued over the calendar proceeds with the promoter, and AWSA went into liquidation with debts of over $70,000; all of its other assets were absorbed by Soccer Australia (current Football Federation Australia). In-between, many players opted to retire from the national team.[26][27]

In 2003, they competed in the Oceania Cup with the team winning all four matches to the combined score of 45 goals to nil with the closest being a 2–0 win over New Zealand.[28] Qualifying for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, the Australians were drawn in Group D with China, Ghana and Russia, the Australians only scored a single point at the World Cup with a 1–1 draw against China.[29] Though two losses against Russia and Ghana meant that they finished bottom of the group.[30][31]

The team won the 2004 OFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Fiji to return to Olympic tournament in Athens 2004.[32] The Matildas won their first Olympic game ever against Greece, and managed to qualify for the quarterfinals,[33] losing to Sweden 2–1.[34]

2005–2009: Move to Asia edit

 
The Matildas before a game against Italy in 2009

In 2006, Australia moved from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation,[35] with the following month seeing the country getting hosting rights for the 2006 AFC Women's Asian Cup.[36] The Australians were drawn in Group B with Myanmar, North Korea, South Korea and Thailand. During the group stage, the Matildas scored eleven goals during the group stage which included a 4–0 win against South Korea[37] but would go on to finish in second place in the group by goal difference. In the semi-final, goals from Caitlin Munoz and Joanne Peters gave Australia a 2–0 win over tournament favorites Japan. This win also meant that the national team qualified through to the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup which was held in China.[38] The Matildas would go to lose in the final by penalties to China with the Chinese coming back from two goals down from half time.[39]

During early 2007, Australia competed in the qualifiers for the 2008 Olympics which was held in China. After sweeping their group with nine points from nine, the Australians would only finish second in the final round group behind North Korea winning both matches against each other by a score of 2–0.[40]

Two months later, Australia draw for the World Cup was revealed with the nation being placed in Group C with Canada, Ghana and Norway.[41] The opening match of the 2007 World Cup saw Australia record their first victory in a World Cup with two goals from Lisa De Vanna assisted Australia to a 4–1 victory over Ghana in Hangzhou.[42] This was followed up with two draws against Norway (1–1) and Canada (2–2) with a late goal from Cheryl Salisbury booking Australia spot into the quarter finals for the first time in team history.[43] In the knockout stage, the Australians came back from two goals down early in the first half to level the match at two-all with goals from De Vanna and Lauren Colthorpe. But a 75th-minute goal from Brazilian striker, Cristiane gave Brazil a 3–2 win which ended the World Cup run at the quarter-final stage.

In 2008, the Matildas competed in the 2008 AFC Women's Asian Cup. They were drawn in Group B, placing second in the group with relative ease behind Japan, who they would eventually face in the third place playoff. With the Matildas progressing from the group stage to the semi-finals, they were paired up against North Korea. North Korea won the match 3–0 and went on to win the tournament. This led them on to the third place playoff, facing Japan for a second time in the tournament and again losing, leaving the Matildas in fourth place.

2010–2013 edit

2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup, China edit

External videos
  Aussies Abroad: The Matildas (ESPN)

In 2010, the Matildas qualified for the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup in China. They beat Vietnam (2–0) and South Korea (3–1) before losing to China 1–0 which made them advance in second place and advance to the Semi-finals where they beat Japan 1–0. The final which was played in wet conditions was history making itself with it being the first senior soccer team (men or women) to make a final in the AFC. They created more history by being the first ever Australian soccer team to win in Asia after beating the team of Korea DPR in penalties during the final, 5–4, after a regular time score of 1–1 (Australia's lone and equalising goal being scored by Sam Kerr). The title gave the Matildas a berth at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.[44]

2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, Germany edit

 
Australia playing the United States in 2012

The following year the team contested the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, held in Germany, being sorted into Group D. Despite losing 1–0 to Brazil in the opening game, victories of 3–2 and 2–1 over Equatorial Guinea and Norway respectively qualified the Matildas to the quarterfinals.[45] At the knockout stage, the team lost 3–1 to Sweden. Caitlin Foord was awarded Best Young Player of the tournament, and defender Elise Kellond-Knight was chosen for the All-Star Team.

2014–2019: Stajcic era edit

After operating as interim head coach of the Matildas in late April and May 2014 for the Matildas’ Asian Cup campaign. In 2014, Alen Stajcic was appointed permanent head coach of the squad in late 2014.[46]

2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup, Vietnam edit

In 2014, the Matildas qualified for the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup in Vietnam. They drawn in Group A alongside Japan, Vietnam and Jordan, earning 2 victories and a draw with Japan which earnt them second place on goal difference. They were drawn against South Korea in the semi-finals, defeating them 2–1, but ultimately lost 1–0 to Japan in the final.[47]

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Canada edit

The Matildas were drawn in the group of death for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, held in Canada, sharing Group D with USA and Sweden.[48] After first losing to USA 1–3, they came back into contention with a 2–0 defeat of Nigeria. The crunch last game against Sweden resulted in a 1–1 draw, with both goals scored in the first 15 minutes of the game. With Sweden needing to win, the Matildas held on, only needing to draw under the three points for a win system (whereas they would have tied with Sweden in the group under two points for a win).

They became the first Australian team, women's or men's, to win a knockout stage match at a World Cup when they defeated Brazil by a score of 1–0. The goal was scored by Kyah Simon after a shot by Lisa de Vanna was blocked and redirected by goalkeeper Luciana. In the quarterfinals, the Matildas lost to defending champions Japan in a late goal by Mana Iwabuchi.[49]

2016 Olympic Games, Rio edit

The following year, they contested in qualifiers for the 2016 Summer Olympics where they finished on top of the group after defeating all of the opponents bar China,[50] to get to the Olympic Games. Drawn in Group F, Australia lost to Canada, conceded a draw to Germany, and defeated Zimbabwe in a blowout to finish as the best third placed team. The adversary in the quarterfinals were hosts Brazil,[51] who avenged the defeat one year prior in the penalty shootouts as goalkeeper Bárbara saved Alanna Kennedy's kick.[52]

Post 2016 Olympics edit

At the 2017 Tournament of Nations event, the Matildas recorded their first ever win over the United States after 27 attempts, defeating them 1–0 in Seattle.[53] The Matildas went on to defeat Japan 4–2 and Brazil 6–1 to finish as the inaugural tournament champions.[54] Following the Tournament of Nations, the Matildas scheduled a series of two friendlies hosting Brazil, with the first match at Penrith Stadium being sold-out,[55] and an even larger crowd of nearly 17,000 attending the next match 3 days later in Newcastle.[56]

In December 2017, Matildas were awarded the Public Choice Team of the Year at the Australian Institute of Sport Awards.[57]

2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup, Jordan edit

At the 2018 AFC Asian Cup, held in Jordan, Australia reached the final after defeating Thailand in the semi-final on penalty kicks. They would lose 1–0 to Japan in the final, but nonetheless secured a spot at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.[58]

Post 2018 Asian Cup edit

Later that year at the 2018 Tournament of Nations Australia once again went undefeated, finishing the tournament with two wins and one draw. They were tied with the United States with 7 points, but the US had a superior goal differential and were crowned tournament champions.[59]

2019–2020: Milicic era edit

 
Australia during the Women's World Cup 2019

Despite entering 2019 on the back of good form and with their highest ever placement on the FIFA ranking list (4th), the Matildas coach Alen Stajcic was sacked from the role in January 2019 by Football Federation Australia (FFA), whose chief executive David Gallop said the decision was based on confidential surveys and conversations with players and staff.[60] The decision proved to be very controversial, as the FFA refused to discuss any further specifics as to the reasoning for the decision and was made only months out from a World Cup appearance. Some players, such as Sam Kerr, Lydia Williams and Elise Kellond-Knight spoke in support of Stajcic and voiced their surprise at his sacking.[61] Former men's national team assistant Ante Milicic was later appointed coach.[62]

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, France edit

For the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, held in France, Australia was drawn in Group C with Italy, Brazil, and Jamaica. A 2–1 injury time loss to Italy was followed by a 3–2 win against Brazil. This victory was notable for 3 reasons – Australia came back from a 2–0 deficit, these were the first goals conceded by Brazil in the group stage in 16 years and it was their first group stage loss for 24 years.[63] The final group game was a 4–1 win over Jamaica with Sam Kerr scoring all four goals, becoming the first Australian player — male or female — to score a hat trick at a World Cup tournament.[64] The result saw Australia finish second in the group and proceed to play Norway in the round of sixteen. The game finished one-all after both regulation time and extra time with Norway winning the penalty shoot-out 4–1.[65]

2020–present: Gustavsson era edit

In September 2020, Football Federation Australia named Swede and former United States Women's National Soccer Team assistant coach Tony Gustavsson as the Matildas' new head coach, signing him on a deal running through 2024 (up to and including the 2024 Olympics in Paris).[66]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2020 Olympic Games, Tokyo edit

In 2020, the Matildas qualified for the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics where they finished top of all competing nations during the 2020 Asian Football Confederation's Qualifying Tournament.[67] They were placed in Group G with countries Sweden, the United States, and New Zealand, nicknamed the 'Group of Death.'[68] After beating New Zealand, losing to Sweden, and drawing with the United States, they were ranked third in their group and progressed to the quarter finals against Great Britain.[69] The match saw Australia open the scoring with a 1-goal advantage, before Great Britain surpassed them with a 1-goal advantage in the second half. An 89th-minute goal by captain Sam Kerr saw Australia equalise before advancing to extra time. During the extra 30 minutes of play, Mary Fowler and Kerr scored an additional two goals to bring the score to 4–2, before Ellen White completed her hat trick. The game ended with a 4–3 scoreline, resulting in Australia's first entry into an Olympic semi-final, playing against Sweden for the second time in the tournament.[70] Despite a strong performance and a disallowed goal by Kerr, they lost 1–0, relegating them to a bronze medal match playoff against the United States.[71] The semi-final match against Sweden broke women's sport TV viewing records in Australia, with 2.32 million viewers tuning in.[72] In the bronze medal match, they lost 4–3 to the United States, resulting in the Matilda's 7th loss of the year.[73] Finishing fourth, the 2020 Olympics were the Matildas' most successful performance at the Olympics, having previously never progressed beyond the quarter-finals since its inception in 1996.[74]

Post 2020 Olympics edit

After their Olympics bronze medal defeat, Australia played their first ever match against the Republic of Ireland on 21 September 2021, with it being Sam Kerr's 100th cap.[75] In October, they played a series of home friendlies against Brazil, their first matches on home soil since 2019, recording a win and a draw.[76] In November, in their final matches of the 2021 calendar year, they played another series of home friendlies against World Number 1 side the United States, recording a defeat and a draw.[77] These two matches broke attendance records in Australia – the first match played on 27 November in Stadium Australia, Sydney, broke the all-time standalone Matildas home attendance record set in 2000, with 36,109 spectators.[78] The second game broke the attendance record of any Matildas game played at Newcastle, with 20,495 spectators.[78] 2021 also saw a record number of Matildas' debutants, with 13 players making their first senior international caps, and a record number of players reaching the 100th cap milestones, including Emily Van Egmond, Kyah Simon, Sam Kerr, Alanna Kennedy and Tameka Yallop.[79]

2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup, India edit

The Matildas began 2022 by participating in the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup, held in India. They were drawn into Group B, against Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.[80] They played their opening match against Indonesia, beating them 18–0, a record win for the team against any opponent within the Asian confederation.[81] The game also saw Sam Kerr scoring 5 goals, whereby equalling and surpassing Tim Cahill's previous Australian international goal-scoring record of 50 goals, making Kerr the all-time leading scorer for Australia, both male or female.[81] Australia finished top in their group undefeated, conceding just one solitary goal, however the team crashed out in the quarter-finals to eventual runners-up South Korea 0–1.[82]

2023 FIFA Women's World Cup edit

Australia co-hosted the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup along with New Zealand, after the bidding decision was announced on 25 June 2020.[83] As hosts, Australia were drawn into Group B, a group which also contained Canada, Nigeria, and debutant Ireland.[84]

Before the tournament, Australia participated in the 2023 Cup of Nations alongside Spain, Jamaica, and the Czech Republic. Australia has already defeated Czech Republic 4–0 in their opening game and Spain 3–2 in their second game, only needing a draw in their game against Jamaica to win the tournament.[85] Australia beat Jamaica 3–0 to lift the Cup of Nations on 22 February 2023.[86]

Australia started the tournament with a 1–0 victory over Ireland by Stephanie Catley, with the only goal scored from a penalty kick.[87] Part of this was due to the news that captain Sam Kerr was going to miss the first two if not all of the group games.[88] They followed this up with a 3–2 loss against Nigeria.[89] In danger of elimination, they defeated reigning Olympic champion Canada 4–0. Not only was this Australia's biggest ever win at a World Cup match, Australia topped their group at a World Cup for the first time.[90]

In the Round of 16, Australia defeated Denmark 2–0 with a goal in each half. It also marked Sam Kerr's first appearance in the tournament. This was just the second time Australia won a knockout match at the Women's World Cup.[91]

Australia went on to defeat France 7–6 on penalty kicks, with the Matildas becoming the first senior Australian team to make a world cup semi-final.[92] The quarter-final match between Australia and France also saw the longest penalty shootout in the history of the FIFA Women's World Cup, with 20 total kicks.[93]

The Matildas were defeated 3–1 by England at the FIFA Women's World Cup semi-finals on 16 August.[94] Their campaign ended with a 2–0 loss to Sweden to finish fourth. This marked the highest-ever finish of any Australian soccer team in senior level.[95]

2024 Olympic Games, Paris edit

Australia had a bye for the first round of the 2024 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament due to their FIFA ranking.[96] For the second round they played three matches in Perth against Iran, Philippines, and Chinese Taipei, with Australian winning 2–0, 8–0, and 3–0, respectively. They proceeded to the third round to play a pair of home and away games against Uzbekistan,[97] winning both games (aggregate of 13–0) and qualifying for the Olympics.[98] For the Olympic Tournament, Australia were assigned to Group B with Germany, Zambia, and United States, scheduled to play the group matches from 25 to 31 July 2024.[99][100]

Team image edit

Regarded as Australia's most beloved national sporting team in 2019, the Matildas have grown its fanbase over recent years, due to increased exposure, successful tournaments and skilled players coming on to play both internationally and at club level, including captain Sam Kerr, widely regarded as one of the world's best soccer players.[101]

In November 2023, the Australian National Dictionary Centre announced "Matilda" as the 2023 Word of the Year.[102]

Kits edit

As is traditional with national Australian sporting teams, the Matildas wear a combination of green and gold as their "home" colours, the national colours of Australia. The kit has been manufactured by Nike since 2004, in partnership with Football Australia (formerly Football Federation Australia).[103] Nike began producing specific women's national team kits since the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.[104]

The most recent home kit worn at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup features a gold top with a marbled pattern and green trimming, and green shorts with white socks, the press release stating that it "celebrates the country's iconic Outback and beaches". The away kit features a bright blue top, shorts and socks, with a darker blue and yellow trims said to "celebrate the country's natural wonders" and drawing "inspiration from the vivid sea".[105]

At the world cup, it was reported that the 2023 kit outsold the 2019 edition 13 to one,[106] and sold more than the Socceroos kits during their entire 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign before the 2023 Women's World Cup even started.[107]

During the Olympics only, the team wears kits manufactured by Asics as the teamwear supplier for the Australian Olympic Committee.[108]

Nicknames edit

The team's official nickname is "the Matildas" (from the Australian folk song "Waltzing Matilda"), sometimes shortened to Tillies by fans.[109] They were known as the "Female Socceroos" before 1995.[110][109]

Naming rights edit

Under a naming rights deal with Scentre Group and its predecessor, Westfield Group, the team was branded as "Westfield Matildas" from 2008 to 2021.[111] The team is currently branded as "CommBank Matildas", based on a multi-year financial investment in the team by the Commonwealth Bank.[112]

Media coverage edit

Australian matches are broadcast by Paramount+ and on free-to-air by Network 10.[113] In 2021, during the broadcast of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Matildas broke TV viewing records of any women's team sport in history. The record was initially broken during their second group stage match against Sweden, drawing in 1,468,000 viewers.[114] The record was broken again during their quarter-final clash against Great Britain, drawing in 2.27 million viewers, before recording the all-time record of 2.32 million viewers watching them compete against Sweden in the Olympic semi-final.[115]

In the 2023 Women's World Cup, the Quarterfinal game between Australia and France averaged over 4 million viewers and peaked at 7.2 million viewers on Channel 7, which was the most watched sporting event since Cathy Freeman's 400 meters gold medal in the Sydney 2000 Olympics in Australia.[116] This statistic does not include live viewings, pubs, stadiums and parties where the game was shown.

Attendance edit

The current home attendance record for a Matilda's stand-alone match is 59,155, set on 29 October 2023 during their 2024 AFC Olympic qualifying match against Philippines.[117]

Supporters edit

The main supporter group of the Australian women's national team is Matildas Active Support .[118]

Results and fixtures edit

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

Legend

  Win   Draw   Loss   Fixtures

2023 edit

14 July Friendly Australia   1–0   France Melbourne, Australia
19:30 UTC+10
  • Fowler   66'
Report Stadium: Marvel Stadium
Attendance: 50,629
Referee: Asaka Koizumi (Japan)
27 July 2023 World Cup GS Australia   2–3   Nigeria Brisbane, Australia
20:00 UTC+10
Report
Stadium: Lang Park
Attendance: 49,156
Referee: Esther Staubli (Switzerland)
31 July 2023 World Cup GS Canada   0–4   Australia Melbourne, Australia
20:00 UTC+10 Report
Stadium: Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
Attendance: 27,706
Referee: Stéphanie Frappart (France)
7 August 2023 World Cup R16 Australia   2–0   Denmark Sydney, Australia
20:30 UTC+10
Report Stadium: Stadium Australia
Attendance: 75,784
Referee: Rebecca Welch (England)
12 August 2023 World Cup QF Australia   0–0 (a.e.t.)
(7–6 p)
  France Brisbane, Australia
17:00 UTC+10 Report Stadium: Lang Park
Attendance: 49,461
Referee: María Carvajal (Chile)
Penalties
16 August 2023 World Cup SF Australia   1–3   England Sydney, Australia
20:00 UTC+10
Report
Stadium: Stadium Australia
Attendance: 75,784
Referee: Tori Penso (United States)
19 August 2023 World Cup 3rd Sweden   2–0   Australia Brisbane, Australia
18:00 UTC+10
Report Stadium: Lang Park
Attendance: 49,461
Referee: Cheryl Foster (Wales)
26 October 2024 Olympic qualifiers R2 Australia   2–0   Iran Perth, Australia
19:00 UTC+8
Report Stadium: Perth Rectangular Stadium
Attendance: 18,798
Referee: Oh Hyeon-jeong (South Korea)
29 October 2024 Olympic qualifiers R2 Philippines   0–8   Australia Perth, Australia
15:10 UTC+8 Report
Stadium: Perth Stadium
Attendance: 59,155
Referee: Ranjita Devi Tekcham (India)
1 November 2024 Olympic qualifiers R2 Australia   3–0   Chinese Taipei Perth, Australia
19:00 UTC+8
Report Stadium: Perth Rectangular Stadium
Attendance: 19,084
Referee: Oh Hyeon-jeong (South Korea)
1 December Friendly Canada   5–0   Australia Langford, Canada
19:30 PST
Report Stadium: Starlight Stadium
Attendance: 6,102
Referee: Deily Gómez (Costa Rica)
5 December Friendly Canada   1–0   Australia Vancouver, Canada
19:00 PST
Report Stadium: Christine Sinclair Place
Attendance: 48,112
Referee: Katja Koroleva (United States)

2024 edit

24 February 2024 Olympic Qualifiers R3 Uzbekistan   0–3   Australia Tashkent, Uzbekistan
14:00 UTC+5 Report
Stadium: Milliy Stadium
Attendance: 2,347
Referee: Oh Hyeon-jeong (South Korea)
28 February 2024 Olympic Qualifiers R3 Australia   10–0
(13–0 agg.)
  Uzbekistan Melbourne, Australia
20:10 UTC+11
Report Stadium: Docklands Stadium
Attendance: 54,120
Referee: Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan)
9 April Friendly Mexico   0–2   Australia San Antonio, United States
19:00 UTC-5 Report
Stadium: Toyota Field
Attendance: 7,163
Referee: Natalie Simon (United States)

Coaching staff edit

Current coaching staff edit

Position Name
Head coach   Tony Gustavsson
Assistant coach   Jens Fjellström
Assistant coach   Melissa Andreatta
Goalkeeping coach   Tony Franken

Manager history edit

As of 5 December 2023 after the match against Canada.
# Name Period Matches Wins Draws Losses Winning % Ref.
1   Jim Selby 1979–1980 6 2 3 1 33.33% [119][120][121]
2   Trixie Tagg 1981 1 1 0 0 100% [122][123]
3   Jim Selby 1983–1984 8 3 3 2 37.5% [119][121]
4   Fred Robins 1986–1987 9 3 1 5 33.33% [124]
5   John Doyle 1988–1989 7 3 0 4 42.86% [125][126]
6   Steve Darby 1989–1991 6 3 2 1 50.0% [127]
7   John Reid 1994 5 0 2 3 0.0% [121]
8   Tom Sermanni 1994–1997 31 13 2 16 41.94% [128]
9   Greg Brown 1997–1999 37 14 8 15 37.84% [129]
10   Chris Tanzey 1999–2000 17 3 3 11 17.65% [129][130]
11   Adrian Santrac 2001–2004 43 19 9 15 44.19% [131]
12   Tom Sermanni 2005–2012 105 60 12 33 57.14% [128][132]
13   Hesterine de Reus 2013–2014 13 6 2 5 46.15% [133][134]
14   Alen Stajcic 2014–2019 63 35 15 13 55.56% [135][136][137]
15   Ante Milicic 2019–2020 16 11 2 3 68.75% [138][139]
16   Tony Gustavsson 2020–present 51 25 6 20 49.02% [140]

Players edit

Current squad edit

The following players were named to the squad for the friendly matches against China on 31 May and 3 June 2024.[141]

Caps and goals are current as of 9 April 2024 after the match against Mexico.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Mackenzie Arnold (1994-02-25) 25 February 1994 (age 30) 47 0   West Ham United
1GK Teagan Micah (1997-10-20) 20 October 1997 (age 26) 17 0   Liverpool
1GK Jada Mathyssen-Whyman (1999-10-24) 24 October 1999 (age 24) 0 0   Sydney FC
1GK Lydia Williams (1988-05-13) 13 May 1988 (age 36) 103 0   Melbourne Victory

2DF Ellie Carpenter (2000-04-28) 28 April 2000 (age 24) 75 4   Lyon
2DF Steph Catley (interim captain) (1994-01-26) 26 January 1994 (age 30) 124 5   Arsenal
2DF Charlotte Grant (2001-09-20) 20 September 2001 (age 22) 23 1   Tottenham Hotspur
2DF Winonah Heatley (2001-06-18) 18 June 2001 (age 22) 0 0   Nordsjælland
2DF Clare Hunt (1999-03-12) 12 March 1999 (age 25) 18 0   Paris Saint-Germain
2DF Alanna Kennedy (1995-01-21) 21 January 1995 (age 29) 122 9   Manchester City
2DF Courtney Nevin (2002-02-12) 12 February 2002 (age 22) 27 0   Leicester City
2DF Clare Polkinghorne (1989-02-01) 1 February 1989 (age 35) 166 16   Kristianstads DFF
2DF Kaitlyn Torpey (2000-03-17) 17 March 2000 (age 24) 3 1   San Diego Wave

3MF Kyra Cooney-Cross (2002-02-15) 15 February 2002 (age 22) 43 0   Arsenal
3MF Mary Fowler (2003-02-14) 14 February 2003 (age 21) 51 15   Manchester City
3MF Emily van Egmond (1993-07-12) 12 July 1993 (age 30) 142 31   San Diego Wave
3MF Clare Wheeler (1998-01-14) 14 January 1998 (age 26) 19 1   Everton
3MF Tameka Yallop (1991-06-16) 16 June 1991 (age 32) 121 13   Brisbane Roar

4FW Caitlin Foord (1994-11-11) 11 November 1994 (age 29) 122 36   Arsenal
4FW Sharn Freier (2001-07-24) 24 July 2001 (age 22) 1 0   Brisbane Roar
4FW Michelle Heyman (1988-07-04) 4 July 1988 (age 35) 64 25   Canberra United
4FW Hayley Raso (1994-09-05) 5 September 1994 (age 29) 85 17   Real Madrid
4FW Cortnee Vine (1998-04-09) 9 April 1998 (age 26) 27 3   Sydney FC

Recent call-ups edit

The following players have been called up to the squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
DF Charlize Rule (2003-02-16) 16 February 2003 (age 21) 1 0   Brighton & Hove Albion v.   Canada, 5 December 2023
DF Aivi Luik (1985-03-18) 18 March 1985 (age 39) 45 1   BK Häcken v.   Mexico, 9 April 2024 INJ

MF Alex Chidiac (1999-01-15) 15 January 1999 (age 25) 33 2   Melbourne Victory v.   Canada, 5 December 2023
MF Sarah Hunter (2003-10-07) 7 October 2003 (age 20) 1 0   Paris FC v.   Canada, 5 December 2023
MF Daniela Galic (2006-06-17) 17 June 2006 (age 17) 0 0   Melbourne City AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying TOP
MF Chloe Logarzo (1994-12-22) 22 December 1994 (age 29) 55 8   Western United AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying
MF Katrina Gorry (1992-08-13) 13 August 1992 (age 31) 107 17   West Ham United v.   Mexico, 9 April 2024 INJ
MF Amy Sayer (2001-11-30) 30 November 2001 (age 22) 11 1   Kristianstads DFF v.   Mexico, 9 April 2024 INJ

FW Larissa Crummer (1996-01-10) 10 January 1996 (age 28) 34 4   Brann 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup PRE
FW Kyah Simon (1991-06-25) 25 June 1991 (age 32) 111 29   Central Coast Mariners 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup
FW Sam Kerr (captain) (1993-09-10) 10 September 1993 (age 30) 128 69   Chelsea v.   Canada, 1 December 2023 INJ
FW Holly McNamara (2003-01-23) 23 January 2003 (age 21) 3 0   Melbourne City v.   Canada, 1 December 2023 INJ
FW Remy Siemsen (1999-11-10) 10 November 1999 (age 24) 7 0   Leicester City v.   Canada, 5 December 2023
FW Sophie Harding (1999-06-10) 10 June 1999 (age 24) 0 0   Western Sydney Wanderers AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying PRE
FW Emily Gielnik (1992-05-13) 13 May 1992 (age 32) 57 11   Melbourne Victory v.   Mexico, 9 April 2024 INJ
Notes
  • INJ Withdrew due to injury.
  • PRE Preliminary squad / on stand-by.
  • TOP Train-on player.

Player records edit

As of 9 April 2024
Players in bold are still active, at least at club level.

Most caps edit

# Player Span Caps Goals
1 Clare Polkinghorne 2006–present 166 16
2 Cheryl Salisbury 1994–2009 151 38
3 Lisa De Vanna 2004–2019 150 47
4 Emily van Egmond 2010–present 142 31
5 Heather Garriock 1999–2011 130 20
6 Sam Kerr 2009–present 128 69
7 Steph Catley 2012–present 124 5
8 Caitlin Foord 2011–present 122 36
Alanna Kennedy 2012–present 9
10 Tameka Yallop 2007–present 121 13

Most goals edit

# Player Span Goals Caps Ratio
1 Sam Kerr 2009–present 69 128 0.54
2 Lisa De Vanna 2004–2019 47 150 0.31
3 Kate Gill 2004–2015 41 86 0.48
4 Cheryl Salisbury 1994–2009 38 151 0.26
5 Caitlin Foord 2011–present 36 122 0.30
6 Sarah Walsh 2004–2012 32 70 0.46
7 Emily van Egmond 2010–present 31 142 0.22
8 Kyah Simon 2007–present 29 111 0.26
9 Joanne Peters 1996–2009 28 110 0.25
10 Michelle Heyman 2010–present 25 64 0.39

Most clean sheets edit

# Player Span Clean sheets Caps Ratio
1 Melissa Barbieri 2002–2015 34 86 0.40
2 Lydia Williams 2005–present 31 103 0.30
3 Mackenzie Arnold 2012–present 23 47 0.49
4 Tracey Wheeler 1989–2000 11 49 0.22
5 Claire Nichols 1994–2003 9 19 0.47
Belinda Kitching 1996–1999 32 0.28
7 Cassandra Kell 2002–2004 7 24 0.29
8 Teagan Micah 2021–present 6 17 0.38
9 Brianna Davey 2012–2015 5 18 0.28

Captains edit

Player Span Ref.
Patricia O'Connor 1975 [4]
Julie Dolan 1979–1984 [142]
Sue Monteath 1984–1987 [143][144]
Julie Murray 1995–1999 [145]
Alison Forman 2000 [146]
Cheryl Salisbury 2003–2009 [147][148]
Melissa Barbieri 2010–2013 [149]
Clare Polkinghorne & Kate Gill 2013–2014 [150]
Clare Polkinghorne & Lisa De Vanna 2015–2019 [151][152]
Sam Kerr 2019–present [153]

Competitive record edit

Australia has played matches against international opponents on a consistent basis since 1978.[154] To date, they have played 55 different nations and governing bodies, across FIFA World Cups, invitational tournaments, the OFC Women's Nations Cup (until 2004), the AFC Women's Asian Cup (from 2006) and international friendlies.

FIFA Women's World Cup edit

FIFA Women's World Cup record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
  1991 Did not qualify
  1995 Group stage 12th 3 0 0 3 3 13
  1999 11th 3 0 1 2 3 7
  2003 13th 3 0 1 2 3 5
  2007 Quarter-finals 6th 4 1 2 1 9 7
  2011 8th 4 2 0 2 6 7
  2015 7th 5 2 1 2 5 5
  2019 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 9 6
    2023 Fourth place 4th 7 3 1 3 10 8
  2027 To be determined
Total 8/9 0 titles 33 10 7 16 48 58

Olympic Games edit

Summer Olympics record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
  1996 Did not qualify
  2000 Group stage 7th 3 0 1 2 2 6
  2004 Quarter-finals 5th 4 1 1 2 3 4
  2008 Did not qualify
  2012
  2016 Quarter-finals 7th 4 1 2 1 8 5
  2020 Fourth place 4th 6 2 1 3 11 13
  2024 Qualified
  2028 To be determined
  2032 Qualified as host
Total 4/7 0 titles 17 4 5 8 24 28

OFC Women's Nations Cup edit

OFC Women's Nations Cup record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
  1983 Runners-up 2nd 4 2 1 1 20 3
  1986 Runners-up 2nd 4 2 0 2 4 6
  1989 Third place 3rd 4 1 1 2 7 6
  1991 Runners-up 2nd 4 3 0 1 21 1
  1994 Champions 1st 4 3 0 1 13 2
  1998 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 49 1
  2003 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 45 0
Total 7/7 3 titles 28 19 2 7 159 19

AFC Women's Asian Cup edit

AFC Women's Asian Cup record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
  1975[a] Third place 3rd 4 2 0 2 12 6
  1977 Not AFC member
  1980[b] Third place 3rd 6 2 0 4 4 10
19812003 Not AFC member
  2006 Runners-up 2nd 6 4 2 0 15 2
  2008 Fourth place 4th 5 2 0 3 7 9
  2010 Champions 1st 5 4 0 1 7 3
  2014 Runners-up 2nd 5 3 1 1 9 5
  2018 Runners-up 2nd 5 1 3 1 11 4
  2022 Quarter-finals 5th 4 3 0 1 24 2
  2026 To be determined
  2029
Total 7/20 1 title 34 19 6 9 85 31

AFF Women's Championship edit

AFF Women's Championship record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
  2004 Did not participate
  2006
  2007
  2008 Champions 1st 5 5 0 0 21 1
  2011 Did not participate
  2012
  2013 See Australia women's national under-20 soccer team
  2015
  2016
  2018
  2019 Did not participate
  2022 See Australia women's national under-23 soccer team
Total 1/6 1 title 5 5 0 0 21 1

Honours edit

Major tournaments edit

  Champions: 1994, 1998, 2003
  Runners-up: 1983, 1986, 1991
  Champions: 2008
  Champions: 2010
  Runners-up: 2006, 2014, 2018

Minor tournaments edit

  Champions: Australia Cup – 1999, 2001, 2002[156]
  Champions: 2013 Centenary Cup[157]
  Champions: 2017 Tournament of Nations
  Champions: 2019 Cup of Nations
  Champions: 2023 Cup of Nations
  Champions: Torneio Cidade de Uberlândia (Brazil) – 1995[158]

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ An Australian representative side (largely from the St. George club and the New South Wales state team) participated and had been labelled as "Australia" by the organisers.[155] These games have not been recognised as official Australian A-internationals, but the players achievements were recognised as such in 2023.[4]
  2. ^ The 1980 AFC Women's Championship had a team representing Western Australia, but not the Australian national team.

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Bibliography edit

External links edit

Sporting positions
Preceded by AFC Women's Champions
2010 (first title)
Succeeded by