The top 5 Westfield Matildas moments of 2020

2020 is a year that most will remember for all the wrong reasons, but from a Westfield Matildas perspective, there were many moments of positivity that emerged. 

As we prepare to say farewell to a torrid 12 months, take a trip down memory lane and re-live some events that will go down in history. 

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Tokyo Bound: Qualifying for the Olympics

Just as the coronavirus was beginning to rear its ugly head, the Westfield Matildas secured a spot at the 12-team Olympic football competition for the fourth time in our nation's history. 

In the 2020 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament that was originally meant to be played out in Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic, Campbelltown and Parramatta eventually played host to fixtures against Thailand, China PR and Chinese Taipei. 

Caitlin Foord's hat-trick headlined a 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei while it was Emily van Egmond who registered a treble as Australia hit Thailand for six. 

The results set up a clash with China at Bankwest Stadium that would decide top spot: who could forget that 93rd-minute Emily van Egmond stunner? 


A 7-1 win over Vietnam on aggregate, including a memorable 5-0 triumph on a stormy day in Newcastle, saw Ante Milicic's side overcome the final hurdle with relative ease and secure back-to-back Olympic qualification. 

Tokyo 2020 soon was postponed to July 2021, where the Westfield Matildas will look to avenge their quarter-final heartbreak at Rio 2016 and pursue a historic first football medal for Australia. 

Matildas v Vietnam
All smiles: the Westfield Matildas 90 minutes before sealing Olympic qualification

A star studded success: The 2020 Westfield W-League final 

The 2020 Westfield W-League season was completed in late March just as Australia was plunged into lockdown. 

An empty AAMI Park saw a Melbourne City side which boasted seven Westfield Matildas defeat Sydney FC, securing their club an unprecedented fourth domestic title. 

City captain Steph Catley scored what turned out to be the match-winner in the first half, while an Ellie Carpenter goal-line clearance early in the second helped keep the Sky Blues at bay. 

The match brought the curtain down on a high-quality Westfield W-League competition which treated Australian audiences with some of our finest international representatives in action week in, week out. 

WATCH: Match highlights: Westfield W-League 2020 Grand Final - Melbourne City v Sydney FC

A Westfield Matildas-packed Melbourne City lift their fourth Westfield W-League title

We're here to take over: European invasion  

2020 saw a remarkable list amount of over 25 active Westfield Matildas signing for European clubs. 

Following suit from captain Sam Kerr's groundbreaking transfer to Chelsea in late 2019, the likes of Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord and Lydia Williams made the move to crosstown rivals Arsenal, coached by Australian Joe Montemurro. 

READ/WATCH: Westfield Matildas Abroad 

June saw the announcement of 20-year-old Ellie Carpenter's prodigious transfer to the most successful club in women's football, Olympique Lyonnaise, where she would go on to become the first Australian to be a part of a UEFA Women's Champions League-winning side. 

With too many names to list, Australia's best were this year seen plying their trade throughout the likes of England, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. 

By all accounts, those currently enjoying winter on the other side of the world are treasuring the professionalism and quality of their competitions - a promising sign for their personal development and the long-term fortunes of the Westfield Matildas as a collective. 

Watch: Football Stories: Westfield Matildas in Europe 

Ultimate Guide - Matildas Abroad

AsOne: 2023 World Cup Bid celebrations

The night of June 26, 2020 will long live in the memory of the Australian football faithful. 

FIFA's announcement in the early hours of the morning that Australia and New Zealand had earned the right to host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup sparked emotional scenes of celebration throughout both nations. 

In the lead up to the announcement, we watched on in awe as the Sydney Opera House was illuminated with images of our Westfield Matildas. 

Over 800,000 supporters came together to back the Onside movement which saw two nations unite as one to secure hosting rights to the grandest tournament in women's football. 

The behind-the-scenes images and footage documented at Football Australia HQ were shared around the world, creating immediate iconic status. 

One grassroots club Darebin Falcons even warmed our hearts by recreating those moments that time seemed to stand still. 

We may have a few more years to wait until Australia welcomes the world to its shores, but the emotional night that this nation's hosting status was confirmed is one that many will never forget. 

A monumental appointment: Tony Gustavsson 

After an extensive selection process, September 29 was the day Football Australia announced experienced Swedish mentor Tony Gustavsson as the coach who will lead the Westfield Matildas through to 2024. 

The 14th Head Coach of the Westfield Matildas is a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner and Olympic Gold Medallist as assistant coach to Jill Ellis in the USWNT. 

With 21 years of coaching in both women’s and men’s football to his name, he will offer a wealth of experience as the Westfield Matildas navigate an exciting era that includes two Olympic campaigns (Tokyo and Paris), the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India in 2022 and of course the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia/New Zealand 2023™.  

With Gustavsson at the helm, the Westfield Matildas are in top-quality hands as they look to make history in 2021 and beyond.