Ultimate guide: Westfield Matildas two games away from Tokyo Olympic Games

All that stands between the Westfield Matildas and the chance to make history at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is 180 minutes of football against Vietnam.

But the final barrier on the route to Tokyo is going to be no easy feat to navigate. The south-east Asian side will come to Newcastle on Friday, 6 March seeking to spoil the party in the first clash of a two-legged, winner-takes-all, play-off decider.

Ante Milicic and his squad will jet out to Cẩm Phả in north-east Vietnam five days later aiming to book their seats at the global sporting showcase in Japan, which takes place in July and August 2020.

The Green and Gold put themselves in the best possible position to be one of Asia's three representatives at the Olympic Games women's football tournament by winning their group in the 2020 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament Third Round.

Two dates with destiny are all that remains in the fast lane on the road to Tokyo 2020.


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Westfield Matildas celebrate van Egmond's late goal
The Westfield Matildas celebrate van Egmond's late goal to seal their place as playoff top seeds.

The background

Australia punched their ticket as the top seeds in the playoff round by claiming top spot in Group B ahead of China PR, Thailand and Chinese Taipei. 

Emily van Egmond's dramatic 93rd-minute strike sealed a 1-1 draw in the final group game and prevented China PR from taking first place in the ladder. 

By the nature of the goal difference racked up in the Westfield Matildas' 7-0 win against Chinese Taipei and 6-0 win against Thailand, the Green and Gold edged China PR down into second place by three clear goals.

On the other side of the draw in Group A, Vietnam secured their place in the playoff round by finishing runners-up to Korea Repbulic. 

The Golden Girls slipped to a 3-0 defeat against the Taeguk Ladies in the group decider, but their 1-0 win against Myanmar proved enough to take second place after Korea DPR withdrew from the competition.

Vietnam had to navigate through the second round of tournament, while Australia were handed a bye due to their world ranking. Mai Đức Chung's side won three straight games against Uzbekistan (2-1), Hong Kong (2-1) and Jordan (2-0) to advance.

WATCH: Emily van Egmond's late goal seals 1-1 draw for Westfield Matildas against China PR

The showdown

Vietnam take to the field at McDonald Jones Stadium to face the Westfield Matildas in Newcastle at 6.30pm AEDT on Friday, 6 March.

Ante Milicic and his squad head to south-east Asia for the decisive second leg at Cẩm Phả Stadium on Wednesday, 11 March – then the winning team on aggregate score over the two legs will be able to book their flights to Tokyo 2020.

Vietnam are ranked 32 in the world and are the sixth-highest ranked team in the Asian Football Confederation, while Australia are ranked seventh in the world and number one in Asia.

Asia's second-ranked side, Japan, qualify automatically as hosts. Third-placed Korea DPR withdrew, leaving fourth-placed China PR to face fifth-placed Korea Republic in the other final playoff contest.

The Westfield Matildas have qualified for three of the last five Olympic Games football tournaments, their best finish being quarter final appearances at Athens 2004 and Rio de Janeiro 2016.

Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Play-Off

Australia v Vietnam (Home Leg)
Date: Friday, 6 March 2020
Kick-off: 6.30pm AEDT
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Tickets: www.matildas.com.au
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports, ABC iview (delayed on ABC TV) and the My Football Live App 
The match will also be streamed LIVE on YouTube for viewers outside of Australia and Vietnam​​​​​​​

Vietnam v Australia (Away Leg)
Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2020
Kick-off: 6.00pm local; 10pm AEDT
Venue: Cẩm Phả Stadium, Cẩm Phả, Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam
Tickets: TBA
Broadcast: TBA 

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