Matildas to face strong challenge in Cyprus

The Westfield Matildas have been dealt a tough draw for the upcoming Cyprus Women’s Cup.

The Westfield Matildas have been dealt a tough draw for the upcoming Cyprus Women-s Cup.

The Aussies have been pitted alongside 2011 FIFA Women-s World Cup semi-finalists France, fast-improving Scotland and also the Netherlands; home nation of Westfield Matildas coach Hesterine de Reus.

Australia met both the Netherlands and France on European soil last year losing 3-1 to the Dutch, before securing a famous 2-0 victory over Les Bleues.

Australia are in Group B of the 12-nation annual event, considered one of the elite non-FIFA tournaments in women-s football.

Matildas assistant coach Ante Juric said the squad were very much looking forward to their maiden appearance at the event and would be ideal preparation for upcoming challenges.

"This is the first time Australia has competed in this prestigious women-s tournament, which consists of many of the top nations,” said Juric.

“As the current champions of the Asian cup, these tough games at the Cyprus Cup against nations such as France, Scotland and Holland, who we have been drawn with in group B, will keep us in good stead for our efforts to go back-to-back at the Asian Cup”

Group A features England, Italy, Finland and 2015 FIFA Women-s World Cup hosts Canada. Group C includes Korea Republic, New Zealand, Switzerland and Republic of Ireland.

All teams play group matches on March 5, 7 and 10, with play-offs for final positions held on March 12. The winners of Groups A and B will meet in the final.

The Westfield Matildas are preparing for May-s AFC Women-s Asian Cup in Vietnam, which double as FIFA Women-s World Cup qualifiers. Reigning champions Australia will be seeking to secure one of the five berths on offer for Canada 2015.