Competitive group for Matildas
Australia have been drawn into a competitive group for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, alongside Norway, Canada and Ghana at the official draw ceremony held in Wuhan China this evening.
Australia have been drawn into a competitive group for the 2007 FIFA Women-s alongside Norway, Canada and Ghana at the official draw ceremony held in Wuhan China this evening. The Matildas were drawn into Group C avoiding reigning champions Germany, world number one ranked nation USA and hosts China.
Norway are ranked number three in the world having won the gold medal at the 2000 Olympic women-s football tournament. Canada are ranked ten in the world with Ghana listed at 48.
Australia will open their campaign against Ghana on September 12 in Hangzhou, followed by the match against Norway on September 15 in the same city before the final group match against Canada on September 19 in Chengdu.
Matildas coach Tom Sermanni was fairly pleased with the draw and believes its a very open group and everybody has a chance to progress.
"It's a reasonable draw for us," a circumspect Sermanni said from China. "It could have been worse and it could have better, but what it does do is give us a chance and that's as much as you can hope for in a World Cup.
"I don't think there is a great deal of difference between all the teams. To be honest, Canada and Norway are very similar in style; closely matches in their ability. They are well structured, physically tough and very competitive.
"Ghana are different in that they are a team that will be quick, skilful, but very unpredictable."
Asked if he was confident of progressing through, Sermanni said, "A good chance, no we're a fair chance; it's a fair group and if we get everyone fit and healthy, we are a fair chance of progressing through to the quarters."
It will be the third World Cup in a row that Australia has met Ghana in the group stages and will be hoping to add a win in the opening game, to go with the draw in 1999 and the 2-1 loss in 2003.
The top two teams in the group will progress to the quarter finals and meet the top two teams of Group D which features China, Denmark, Brazil and New Zealand.
Group A contains Germany, Japan, England and Argentina. Group B features USA, Korea DPR, Sweden and Nigeria.
The 16-nation tournament will be held in the cities of Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin and Wuhan, September 10-30.
See the following link for further draw details and other information about the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup:- http://fifa.com/en/comp/index/0,1534,WF2007,00.html?comp=WF&year=2007
The Matildas, now ranked 14th in the world, qualified for the World Cup courtesy of finishing runners-up at last year-s AFC Women-s Asian Cup in Adelaide after losing the final on penalties against China.
Australia have appeared in three previous FIFA Women-s World Cup tournaments in 1995, 1999 and 2003. The Matildas are currently attempting to qualify for the Beijing Olympics with qualification likely to be decided in early June when the team travels to DPR (North) Korea before the return match in Coffs Harbour on June 10.
For more information on the Matildas click on the following link:-http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/default.aspx?s=aus_matildas