Aussie women set to face world's best in the USA
11 May 2017
Head Coach Alen Stajcic has repeatedly stated his desire for the Matildas to test themselves against the best footballing nations and the 2017 Tournament of Nations provides an ideal opportunity against three of the most highly regarded teams in the world.
“To be invited to play in this tournament is really exciting as we will face off against some of the top teams in the world,” said Stajcic.
“The three teams we’ll play against all have good pedigree, experience, and importantly they’re all in good form at the moment so it will be a great hit out for us and an excellent test of where we’re at ahead of next year’s Women’s Asian Cup.”
Currently ranked 8th in the world, the Aussies face a first up blockbuster against hosts USA at the 67,000 capacity Century Link Field in Seattle on 27 July 2017.
Yet to beat the USA in 26 attempts, the Matildas’ last match against the women’s football powerhouse ended in a 3-1 defeat in their opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015.
The tournament then moves to San Diego where the Aussie side will reignite their rivalry with Japan at Qualcomm Stadium on 30 July.
Australia recorded one of their most famous victories over Japan when they scored a comprehensive 3-1 defeat in their opening match of the qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio Games.
The result exacted some revenge after their biggest Asian rivals knocked the Aussies out at the Quarter Final stage of the last World Cup.
The Matildas’ final match is against Brazil four days later at StubHub Stadium, the home of Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy.
Stajcic’s team famously eliminated Brazil at the last World Cup before the South Americans turned the tables at the Rio Games, ousting the side in a heartbreaking penalty shootout.
“We have a good rivalry with each of the other three countries and they will be fantastic matches for us against high quality opposition,” said Stajcic.
“There will be a similar approach as we had at the Algarve Cup earlier this year. We’re still in the rebuilding process of this team, it’s still the beginning of the cycle and Algarve was an excellent experience for our new players who came in.
“This is another step in that process, trying to give as many players opportunities and test the flexibility of the team. It’s about testing the team and moving the team forward with any eye on the Asian Cup in April next year and beyond.”
2017 Tournament of Nations – Teams and Schedule
Australia (ranked 8th)
Brazil (ranked 9th)
Japan (ranked 6th)
USA (ranked 2nd)