Match Preview: Commonwealth Bank Matildas v New Zealand

Australia is ready to welcome home the Commonwealth Bank Matildas once again, when they play their first home friendly of 2022 against New Zealand on Friday night.

History will be made in many ways, with the match marking the team's historic maiden international in Townsville, with the state-of-the-art QCB Stadium set to host its first-ever football match.

Taking to the pitch for the first time since January's 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup, Tony Gustavsson's side will go head-to-head with their FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™, co-hosting partners in a two-match series. 

The two nations last met in July 2021, where Australia prevailed 2-1 in their opening tie at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Women's Football Tournament. 

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Tameka Yallop and captain Sam Kerr found the back of the net on that day at Ajinomoto Stadium and are back in a 23-player squad consisting of  21 players who pulled on the Green and Gold in India earlier this year. 

The return of Katrina Gorry headlines the Commonwealth Bank Matildas' additions, with the former AFC Women's Player of the Year back in the fold for the first time since the arrival of her first child, Harper, seven months ago. 

Gorry enjoyed a strong A-League Women's season, as did fellow addition to the squad Alex Chidiac, who further bolsters Australia's midfield options off the back of a stellar campaign that saw her inspire Melbourne Victory to a second-straight championship. 

Katrina Gorry of the Matildas celebrates with her team mates Sam Kerr and Elise Kellond-Knight of the Matildas after scoring a goal during the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Qualifier match between the Australian Matildas and Chinese Taiepi at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on February 07, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Katrina Gorry is back in Green & Gold for the first time since early 2020

On the other hand, the Football Ferns are bringing a familiar squad down under. However, they will be missing some key players with CJ Bott out with a hip injury and Abby Erceg opting to stay in America to focus on her club football.

Sydney FC's Remy Siemsen and Cortnee Vine will come up against two Sky Blue teammates donning the black and white, with Paige Satchell called into the team and Ally Green making the switch to New Zealand as a training player while her FIFA information is finalised. 

Plenty of the players selected will be very familiar to Australian fans, with the likes of Lily Alfeld, Elizabeth Anton, Claudia Bunge, Rebekah Stott, Grace Jale, Malia Steinmetz, and Paige Satchell and Hannah Wilkinson all plying their trade in the A-League Women's this season.

Either way, Australia's rising talent and established stars will be out to put on a show against their trans-Tasman rivals as preparations continue for the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, which is now 16 months away. 

Head Coach Tony Gustavsson sees these matches as the perfect opportunity to turn the squad's learnings from their recent outings into action. 

"Naturally, we were all disappointed at how our AFC Women's Asian Cup campaign concluded in January," Gustavsson said. "Following our technical review, these April internationals are an opportunity for us to start implementing the lessons we have learned from our experiences over the past 12 months with only the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ on the horizon." 

Next Tuesday, the same two nations will head to Canberra for the Commonwealth Bank Matildas' first clash in the nation's capital in nine years. 

Match details 

Commonwealth Bank Matildas v New Zealand 
Friday, 8 April 2022  
Venue: QCB Stadium, Townsville 
Kick-Off: 7:45 pm (AEST)  
Gates Open: 6:15pm (AEST)
Broadcast: Live on 10 Bold, 10 Play and Paramount+. Check your local tv guides.
Ticketing Details: Buy now!

$1 (plus GST) from every ticket will be donated to the ParaMatildas, Australia's first national team for women and girls with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury or symptoms from stroke.

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