Saturday, 14 April 2018
The Westfield Matildas will take on the world’s best in Europe next year after the team sealed its place at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in France courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Japan at the Amman International Stadium in Jordan on Friday (local time).
Samantha Kerr’s 86th minute equaliser against Japan not only propelled the Westfield Matildas to next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™, but also ensured that Alen Stajcic’s side advanced to the Semi-Finals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018 which is being contested in Amman.
As winners of Group B ahead of Japan, Korea Republic, and Vietnam, Australia will now face Group A Runner-up Thailand at the King Abdullah II Stadium on Tuesday evening, with kick-off at 11.45pm AEST.
The Westfield Matildas defeated Thailand 5-0 at nib Stadium in Perth last month in a pre-AFC Women’s Asian Cup friendly.
The Westfield Matildas’ Semi-Final clash against Thailand will be broadcast live, exclusive, and ad-break free during play on FOX SPORTS, and the victor will advance to the tournament’s Final against either China PR or Japan.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chairman, Mr Steven Lowy AM, today congratulated the Westfield Matildas for securing their place in next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™, which is another significant milestone for women’s football in Australia.
“The first goal at this year’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan was for the team to qualify for France, so on behalf of FFA and the entire football community we congratulate and acknowledge the players, coaches and staff in Jordan for achieving that target,” said Lowy.
“While everyone involved with the team, as well as fans, can begin to dream of what can be achieved in France next year, I know Alen (Stajcic), the staff and players remain focussed on the second goal of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, which is winning it,” he said.
FFA Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Gallop AM, echoed Lowy’s sentiments.
“It’s fantastic that the squad have booked their ticket to France,” said Gallop. “The Westfield Matildas have had a tremendous 12 months on and off the pitch, and are now just two games away from becoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup Champions for a second time.”
“Hopefully by next Saturday morning Australia will be celebrating being the reigning AFC Asian Cup Champions in both men’s and women’s football,” he said.
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in France will be held between 7 June and 7 July next year across nine hosts cities. In December 2018 Australia will discover its path to becoming world champions for the first time when the official draw is held in Boulogne-Billancourt.
AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018 – Semi-Final
Westfield Matildas v Thailand
Date: Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Venue: King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman, Thailand
Kick-off: 4.45pm (local); 11.45pm (AEST)
Broadcast: LIVE & EXCLUSIVE on FOX SPORTS
Note: Winner will advance to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018 Final against either China PR or Japan
Image credit: Emily Mogic