The Westfield Matildas host world No.39 Chile in a series of friendlies in Penrith and Newcastle this November, hoping to improve on the solid foundations the built during their most recent tour of Europe.
The two fixtures will be a solid test for Alen Stajcic’s women, against Los Chicas de Rojo who have qualified for their maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Westfield Matildas fans will have fond memories of the last time their heroes played at Penrith Stadium.
That day, Lisa De Vanna drew first blood with a sensational volley from outside the box. Sam Kerr did what she does best, heading home to double Australia’s lead and set them on their way to a memorable 2-1 victory over the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup finalists, Brazil.
The score flattered the visitors, who conceded 23 shots to their six, as they absorbed wave after wave of Green and Gold attack.
Perhaps more importantly, though, that result came off the back of a stunning Tournament of Nations campaign, where the Westfield Matildas won all three games.
This included a surprise 1-0 win over hosts, the United States, a 4-3 tussle over Japan, as well as a 6-1 win over Brazil.
If recent results are anything to go by, our women may just have the edge of Chile. Chile has only won one of their last four internationals, succumbing to 3-0 and 4-0 losses to the USA in September.
José Letelier’s women hosted South Africa in a series of two friendlies in October, where they ground out a 2-1 result and were then held to a 2-2 draw in Santiago.
While the Westfield Matildas' record is similar to Chile’s, some consideration must be given to the fact that three of these fixtures came against England, France and Japan — ranked third, fourth and seventh in the world, respectively.
Furthermore, the squad that travelled to Europe was a blend of youth and experience. This will have put some of those younger players in good stead for the upcoming Westfield W-League, as well as boosted their hopes of making Stajcic’s squad for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
More than 15,000 fans witnessed the tide turn as the Westfield Matildas announced themselves on the world stage. Can history repeat itself?
Australia host Chile at Pepper Stadium on Saturday, November 10 at 3:30pm AEDT.