Printer Friendly and PDF

Melbourne: Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the Victorian Government today announced that the Matildas will face China PR this November in a two-match International Series at AAMI Park, Melbourne (Wednesday, November 22) and Simonds Stadium, Geelong (Sunday, November 26).

These matches will come off the back of the Matildas recent record-breaking two-match series against Brazil which saw over 31,000 fans pass through the gates to watch Australia’s best female footballers in action.

FFA CEO, David Gallop, was excited to announce the matches.

"The Matildas have captured the hearts and minds of Australian girls, boys, women and men in the last week with big crowds coming out to watch them play brilliant football and show their professionalism, humility and class off the pitch,” said Gallop.

“These matches will provide Australian sports fans with two more chances to see the Matildas on home soil.

“With our bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup starting to gain momentum, this is also a great opportunity to showcase our venues and ability to host major Women’s Football matches.

“It is also a unique occasion to engage with the substantial local Chinese community through the shared language of football.

"The Chinese Government and the China Football Association have unveiled a plan for football, that will see the creation or refurbishment of 70,000 football fields, 20,000 player academies, and  10,000 new coaches with a target is 50 million people playing the game in the country. Clearly, football is the top priority for China and these matches provide the opportunity to conduct some important football diplomacy.

“We would like to thank the Victorian Government, Visit Victoria and the Geelong City Council for their fantastic support to make these matches a reality,” concluded Gallop.

Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic will be looking to use the two matches to again bolster his squad ahead of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup which will be held in April next year in Jordan.

“The recent two matches against Brazil were extremely important for our preparation for the next year’s Asian Cup.

“China is a quality opposition and we have a long history of tough matches against them.

“I’m sure the players are once again looking forward to running out in front of large and vocal home crowd,” concluded Stajcic.

The Victorian Minister for Sport, The Hon John Eren MP, was also proud to be able to host the Matildas for these two matches against China PR.

“We’re giving more Victorians the chance to see a Matildas side that are in top form up against one of the powerhouses in Asia,” said Minister Eren.                

“We want to grow women’s football and create more opportunities for women in sport – bringing the Matildas to Melbourne and regional Victoria will do just that,” concluded Minister Eren.  

The Matildas are currently ranked 6th in the world with China PR at 13th (as at September 1, 2017). The Matildas have met China PR on 38 occasions since 1988 with 9 wins 10 draws and 19 losses. Their most recent meeting was earlier this year at the Algarve Cup in Portugal (06-03-17) which saw the Matildas win 2–1.

Sources: Football Federation Australia & Lagardère Sports

randomness