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Australia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Matildas
Association Football Federation Australia
Head coach Tom Sermanni
Most caps Cheryl Salisbury (151)
Top scorer Cheryl Salisbury (38)
FIFA ranking 14
Highest FIFA ranking 12 (October 2007)
Lowest FIFA ranking 16 (October 2006)
Home colours
Away colours
First international
Australia Australia 2 – 2 New Zealand New Zealand
Sutherland, Sydney, Australia; 6 October 1979
Biggest win
Australia Australia 21 – 0 American Samoa American Samoa
Auckland, New Zealand; 9 October 1998
Biggest defeat
United States United States 9 - 1 Australia Australia
Ambler, PA, United States; 5 June 1997
World Cup
Appearances 4 (First in 1995)
Best result Quarterfinal (2007)
Olympic Games
Appearances 2 (First in 1996)
Best result Quarter-final, 2004
AFC Women's Asian Cup (since 2006) and OFC Women's Championship (1983-2003)
Appearances AFC - 2 (First in 2006), OFC - 7 (First in 1983)
Best result AFC - Runners-up (2006), OFC - Winners (1995, 1998, 2003)

The Australia women's national association football team, nicknamed the Matildas (from the song Waltzing Matilda), represents Australia in international women's association football and is governed by Football Federation Australia (FFA). The team has regularly qualified for both the Women's World Cup and the Olympics although has won neither.

Contents

History

The first Australian women's national team was formed in 1978, four years after the Australian Women’s Soccer Association, to play in the inaugural World Women’s Invitational Tournament, in Taipei, Taiwan. The team was made up primarily of players from New South Wales and Western Australia. Australia was the only national team at the tournament, thus none of the matches were counted as official caps. Coached by Jim Selby, the players that year were: Sandra Brentnall (WA), Connie Byrnes (captain, NSW), Julie Clayton (WA), Kim Coates (NSW), Julie Dolan (NSW), Cindy Heydon (NSW), Barbara Kozak (WA), Sharon Loveless (WA), Toni McMahon (NSW), Sue Monteath (QLD), Sharon Pearson (NSW), Judy Pettitt (WA), Anna Senjuschenko (WA), Teresa Varadi (WA), Leigh Wardell (NSW), Monika Werner (VIC).

Early matches for the team were generally against New Zealand as one of the better organised nations in the region. Australia played in the first Oceania Cup in 1983, losing the final to New Zealand in extra time. The 1986 tournament in New Zealand was only three teams: Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan, Australia again losing in the final.

During 1987 and 1988 the Matildas played tournaments in Taiwan and China encountering the American and European teams for the first time. Hosting the 1989 Oceania Cup, Australia stumbled to finish third. The 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. Australia finished level on points with New Zealand, but had scored fewer goals and so New Zealand progressed to the World Cup as OFC representative. Between 1991 and 1994, the Matildas played internationally only during a tour of Russia in 1994. The Oceania tournament in 1995 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.

At the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden, Australia were grouped with USA, China and Denmark. The Matildas inexperience showed in the opening match to Denmark, losing 5-0. The second match was a 4-2 loss to China, Angela Iannotta scoring Australia's first goal at a World Cup. In the final group match against cup holders USA, Australia scored first but went on to lose 4-1.

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. Their following group matches were both 3-1 losses, finishing third in the group, but showing improvement on previous tournaments.

In 1999, the team sought to raise the profile of women's football in Australia, and raise badly needed funds for the team, by posing nude for a calendar. The Matildas - A New Fashion in Football calendar was published, making 'cover-girl' Amy Taylor the face of the team, and included players Tracie McGovern, Sunni Hughes, Kim Revell, Alison Foreman, Sharon Black, Cheryl Salisbury, Alicia Ferguson, Katrina Boyd, Sarah Cooper, Traci Bartlett and Bridgett Starr. Although there was some backlash at the concept, the 'tastefully presented' calendar sold well in Australia and was largely considered a success at the time. However, it has ultimately been considered by many commentators as a step backwards for the game by preventing the sport from being viewed on its competitive merits.

The profile built for the sport carried into the 2000 Olympics in Australia, with the Matildas qualifying as hosts. Much anticipation surrounded the team's 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 football in Australia, raising the profile of the game.

In 2003, they won the Oceania Cup and qualified for the World Cup, where they finished in the first round.

The team made the quarter final stage at the 2004 Olympics.

In 2006, the Matildas played in the AFC Asian Cup played in South Australia. The opening game for the Matildas was against South Korea. An early own goal by South Korea put the Matilda's up, finishing with 3 goals in the second half to give them a 4–0 win. The second match against Myanmar was also a win to the Matildas, who finished with 2 goals, with Sally Shipard and Lisa De Vanna scoring one a piece. The Matildas went on to reach the final, being defeated 4-2 on penalties by China after having a two goal half time lead.

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2007 World Cup

Australia qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup and drawn into Group C. They defeated Ghana 4-1 on September 12 in Hangzhou,[1] followed by a 1-1 draw against Norway at the same venue on September 15. Thanks to a late goal from Cheryl Salisbury, they drew against Canada 2-2 on September 20 in Chengdu to advance to the knockout round for the first time in team history. Australia came up against Brazil in their elimination match, losing to Brazil 3-2 to end their 2007 World Cup run at the quarter-final stage.

2008 tournaments

The Matildas failed to get through qualifiers for the 2008 Olympics, but 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 Korea DPR. Korea DPR 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 losing again, leaving the Matildas in fourth place.

World Cup record

Olympic Games record

  • 1996 - Did not qualify
  • 2000 - Round 1
  • 2004 - Quarter-finals
  • 2008 - Did not qualify

Continental Cup record

OFC Women's Championship

  • 1983 - Runner-up
  • 1986 - Runner-up
  • 1989 - Third
  • 1991 - Runner-up
  • 1995 - Champions
  • 1998 - Champions
  • 2003 - Champions

AFC Women's Asian Cup

Current squad

The squad named for two friendlies against Italy on 31 January and 7 February 2009.[2][3]

No. Pos. Player DoB (Age) Caps Goals Club
1 GK Melissa Barbieri 20 January 1980 54 0 Australia Melbourne Victory FC
2 DF Kate McShea 13 April 1983 58 2 Australia Brisbane Roar
3 DF Karla Reuter 14 June 1984 14 0 Australia Brisbane Roar
4 DF Clare Polkinghorne 1 February 1989 13 1 Australia Brisbane Roar
5 DF Cheryl Salisbury (C) (Since Retired) 8 March 1974 151 38 Australia Newcastle Jets
6 MF Amber Neilson 5 0 Australia Newcastle Jets
7 MF Heather Garriock 21 December 1982 111 19 Australia Sydney FC
8 FW Caitlin Munoz 4 October 1983 50 13 Australia Canberra United
9 FW Sarah Walsh 55 26 Australia Sydney FC
10 MF Joanne Peters (VC) (Since Retired) 109 28 Australia Newcastle Jets
11 FW Lisa De Vanna 14 November 1984 48 17 United States Washington Freedom
12 FW Kate Gill 10 December 1984 54 26 Sweden AIK Solna
13 MF Tameka Butt 16 June 1991 3 1 Australia Brisbane Roar
14 MF Collette McCallum 26 March 1986 38 8 Australia Perth Glory
15 MF Samantha Kerr 1 0 Australia Perth Glory
16 MF Lauren Colthorpe 25 October 1985 16 2 Australia Brisbane Roar
17 FW Lana Harch 22 5 Australia Brisbane Roar
18 GK Lydia Williams 13 May 1988 7 0 Australia Canberra United
19 DF Danielle Brogan 0 0 Australia Sydney FC
20 MF Elise Kellond-Knight 5 Australia Brisbane Roar
21 MF Emily van Egmond 17 January 1991 0 0 Australia Canberra United
22 DF Ellie Brush 0 0 Australia Canberra United

See also

References

External links



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