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FIFA Women's World Cup™

Australia

Australia's starting XI pose for a team photo
© AFP

FIFA Women’s World Cup record
After missing the inaugural edition in 1991, Australia have now qualified for seven successive tournaments making clear progress along the way. China 2007 proved to be the breakthrough as Tom Sermanni’s side reached the knockout stage for the first time, where it took a Marta-led Brazil to edge a win over the Matildas. Germany 2011 saw a repeat quarter-final qualification following a group-stage victory over former world champions Norway. Australia stepped up another level four years later with a Round of 16 win over Brazil, in what was their first knockout-stage victory.

The road to France
An in-form Australia endured an up-and-down qualification campaign in April 2017, following a massively successful 12 months. The Matildas opened with a scoreless draw against Korea Republic in a match they dominated, before a one-sided 8-0 win over Vietnam. Star forward Sam Kerr scored a late equaliser in the final group match against Japan to lock up early qualification. There was a shock, however, in the semi-final as Australia needed penalties to see off Thailand. But luck was not on their side in the final of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, where Japan scored against the run of play leaving the 2010 champions as runners-up for the third time in five tournaments.

The coach
With nearly two decades experience in women’s football, both at senior and development level, Alen Stajcic has proved to be a perfect fit for the Matildas. Stajcic played a key role in developing numerous current players in the New South Wales’ development system, as well as through a long successful tenure at W-League club Sydney FC. Relentlessly attacking in philosophy, the team has taken a quantum leap under his tutelage, particularly since Canada 2015.

The stat
1 - Australia lost just once in 19 matches over a 12-month period commencing in March 2017. The run included wins over world champions USA, South American champions Brazil, Asian champions Japan and soon-to-be crowned European champions Netherlands.