The Westfield Matildas are back on the park for their first match since they secured qualification to the Tokyo Olympics.
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming game against Germany.
Australia hosted the Olympic qualifying tournament for the AFC at the last minute, after China was unable to because of the pandemic. The Westfield Matildas earned wins over Chinese Taipei and Thailand, with a dramatic 1-1 draw with China setting up a date with Vietnam in the final stage of qualification.
A 7-1 aggregate win over Vietnam saw the team qualify for its second straight Olympics and fourth Games overall.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the world and football has been no exception. Multiple major tournaments have had to be rescheduled, and due to health and safety concerns, the Westfield Matildas have not played a match in over 12 months.
Although Australia hasn’t been able to play, the team and the nation have had plenty of exciting things happen.
Chief among them was FIFA awarding the 2023 Women’s World Cup to the As One bid which will see the biggest tournament in women’s football played here and in New Zealand.
Tony Gustavsson was also announced as the new coach of the Westfield Matildas.
With the health and safety of players and staff at the front of mind, the squad selected for these friendly matches was made up of overseas-based players only.
Those same rigorous safety protocols meant that Amy Harrison and Ellie Carpenter couldn’t join the camp despite being selected.
Of those who have been selected, Clare Polkinghorne brings 125 games worth of national team experience. Emily van Egmond is inching closer to her 100th appearance for the Westfield Matildas while Chloe Logarzo could bring up her 50th cap. There are four potential debutantes in this squad.
Fans will be hoping that the players bring their individual good form at club level to the green and gold.
The Westfield Matildas strike force in particular has been red hot, with Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord in the top five leading goal scorers in the FA WSL.
While Hayley Raso recently scored a hat trick for Everton and Emily Gielnik earned the golden boot in the Westfield W-League.
Where to watch
Both friendlies will be broadcast on Fox Sports, Kayo, ABC TV, and the My Football App.
Germany has had the luxury of playing in the last year. The team qualified for the Euros in 2022. Their last four qualification matches in the back half of 2020 saw them earn four wins from four games, scoring 15 times and conceding only once.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side also played two friendlies in February of this year. A 2-0 win over Belgium was followed by a 2-1 loss to the Netherlands – the team’s first defeat since the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarter final.
Australia and Germany last played each other at Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Spoils were shared on the day with a 2-2 draw the final result. Goals to Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord were cancelled out thanks to Sara Dabritz and Saskia Bartusiak.
Please note that all dates & times listed are AEST. Kick-off in Germany is on Saturday, 10 April 2021 at 4:05pm local time.
Please note that all dates & times listed are AEST. Kick-off in the Netherlands is on Tuesday, 13 April 2021 at 6:30pm local time.