Newcastle-born Westfield Matildas star Emily van Egmond will get a rare chance to play in front of family and friends later this year when Australia play host to Brazil in a two-match friendly series.
FFA confirmed on Wednesday that the Westfield Matildas will take on the South American giants in September with games to be held in Penrith (16th) and Newcastle (19th) respectively.
PLAYING IN FRONT OF FAMILY & FRIENDS
“It’s awesome to be able to play for your country in front of your home town,” van Egmond told Matildas.footballaustralia.com.au.
“Newcastle has been a strong breeding ground for quite some time with women’s footballers. We have the likes of Cheryl Salisbury who is the most capped player to date from here. Joey Peters, Lauren Colthorpe, Katie Gill, the list goes on.
“I’m very fortunate to be able to play for my country here in front of my home town. I’m looking forward to it.”
CHALLENGE OF BRAZIL
Brazil are currently ranked eighth in the FIFA World Rankings, one spot below Australia.
“We’ve played Brazil a few times now and it’s always been quite a close game. Usually just one goal between the two teams,” van Egmond said.
“It’s definitely going to be a good challenge for us. It’s going to be very competitive.
“But to get a team like Brazil out here is awesome for women’s football in Australia.”
ON THE GROWING RIVALRY
Australia and Brazil have played a number of times in recent years, with the South American outfit knocking the Westfield Matildas out of the 2016 Rio Olympics on penalties.
Prior to that, the Matildas edged Brazil in the 2015 World Cup Round of 16, courtesy of a late strike to Kyah Simon.
“We played them at the 2011 World Cup and they got one over us there. We beat them in Canada (2015 World Cup) which was awesome and then we played them a couple of times since then,” van Egmond said.
“Obviously Rio (2016 Olympics) was quite devastating for us to go out on penalties.
“There’s usually just been one goal between the two teams and it’s always been a very close game.“It’s become a bit of a rivalry for us so for them to come out here in September to play against the Matildas is [exciting].”