Start the countdown! The Westfield Matildas will be back on the pitch on April 11th, taking on Germany in Wiesbaden.
It will be the team’s first match since the Olympic qualifiers over Vietnam on March 11, 2020 and the much anticipated restart of the journey to Tokyo.
Olympic qualification threw up plenty of challenges and delivered some brilliant performances from the Westfield Matildas.
The early stages of the pandemic meant Australia became the hosts of the qualifying tournament at the last minute.
Campbelltown and Parramatta witnessed some great football. The Westfield Matildas kicked things off with a 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei – Caitlin Foord the hat trick hero on the day. Steph Catley, Hayley Raso, Sam Kerr, and Katrina Gorry rounded out the win.
Ante Milicic’s side backed that performance up with a 6-0 win over Thailand. Emily van Egmond took over Foord’s title, bagging herself a hat trick. A Kyah Simon brace and another goal to Raso completed that victory.
The final game was tough and tense with China scoring in the 86th minute. Van Egmond then delivered a superb strike in the 92nd minute to set up a date with Vietnam in the final rounds of qualifying.
A comprehensive 5-0 win which saw a Kerr double and goals to Logarzo, Clare Polkinghorne, and van Egmond set the team up for the away leg in Cam Pha.
A dramatic game saw two lengthy delays due to a lighting issue and a 2-1 victory to Australia. The Westfield Matildas had booked their ticket to a second straight Olympics and a fourth Games overall.
But the pandemic put the world on hold. Plans that were made had to be reshaped, rescheduled, and remade as global focus moved elsewhere.
Although the team hasn’t been able to be together on a pitch in months, so many exciting things have happened.
As the world starts to emerge from lockdowns and enters the beginning of the end of the pandemic, and with qualification secured, the second leg of the road to Tokyo begins now. And it is a new beginning in more ways than one.
After commencing in January, life under Tony Gustavsson truly begins with the team and coaching staff set to meet in person and get things started.
The team will be decked out in the new Nike national team kits – the first senior side to wear the jerseys.
After so many strong showings at club level, fans will get to see all the goals, tackles, assists, and saves come together in the green and gold.