Australia women's national soccer team

"Australia women's national football team" redirects here. For the team that plays Australian rules/Gaelic football, see Australia women's international rules football team.
Nickname(s) Matildas
Association Football Federation Australia
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation AFF (South-East Asia)
Head coach Alen Stajcic
Captain Lisa De Vanna
Clare Polkinghorne
Most caps Cheryl Salisbury (151)
Top scorer Kate Gill (41)
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 7 Decrease 2 (26 August 2016)
Highest 5 (March 2016)
Lowest 16 (October 2006)
First international
 Australia 2–2 New Zealand 
(Sutherland, Australia; 6 October 1979)
Biggest win
 Australia 21–0 American Samoa 
(Auckland, New Zealand; 9 October 1998)
Biggest defeat
 United States 9–1 Australia 
(Ambler, United States; 5 June 1997)
World Cup
Appearances 6 (first in 1995)
Best result Quarterfinals (2007, 2011, 2015)
Oceania Cup
Appearances 7 (first in 1983)
Best result Winners (1995, 1998, 2003)
Asian Cup
Appearances 5 (first in 1975)
Best result Winners (2010)

The Australian women's national soccer team represents Australia in international women's soccer at the senior level. The team is overseen by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. The team's official nickname is the Matildas (from the song Waltzing Matilda), having been known as the Female Socceroos before 1995.[1] The current team manager is Alen Stajcic.

Australia is a three-time OFC champion, one-time AFC champion and one-time AFF champion, through became the first ever national team to win in two different confederations (before the men's team did the same in 2015 AFC Asian Cup). The team has represented Australia at the FIFA Women's World Cup on five occasions and at the Olympics Games on two, although has won neither tournament. Immediately following the 2015 World Cup, Australia was ranked ninth in the world by FIFA.[2]


Matildas before a game against Italy in 2009

The Australian Women's Soccer Association (AWSA) was founded in 1974[3] and a representative Australian team competed at the following year's Asian Women's Championship.[4] A national team made up primarily of players from New South Wales and Western Australia was sent to the 1978 inaugural World Women's Invitational Tournament, in Taipei, Taiwan.[5] Australia played against club teams at the tournament and none of the players' appearances counted as official caps.[6] Coached by Jim Selby, the selected players were: Sandra Brentnall (WA), Connie Byrnes (captain, NSW), Julie Clayton (WA), Kim Coates (NSW), Julie Dolan (NSW), Cindy Heydon (NSW), Barbara Kozak (WA), Sharon Loveless (WA), Toni McMahon (NSW), Sue Monteath (QLD), Sharon Pearson (NSW), Judy Pettitt (WA), Anna Senjuschenko (WA), Teresa Varadi (WA), Leigh Wardell (NSW) and Monika Werner (VIC).[7]

Australia's first official international match was against New Zealand at Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda, New South Wales, Australia on Saturday 6 October 1979, as it was billed as the "1st Australian Women's International Soccer Test". The Australian team listed in the match programme was Sue Monteith (Qld), Shona Bass (Vic), Kim Coates (Vic), Dianna Hall (SA), Carla Grims (SA), Fiana McKenzie (SA), Sandra Brentnall (WA), Judith Pettit (WA), Sharon Mateljan (WA), Julie Clayton (WA), Cindy Heydon (NSW), Julie Dolan (NSW), Toni McMahon (NSW), Jamie Rosman (NSW), Rosie van Bruinessen (NSW) and Leigh Wardell (NSW). Jim Selby remained as coach and the managers were Noelene Stanley and Elaine Watson. A lack of resources meant Australia's first eight official matches were all against New Zealand.[8]

The 1980s

Australia played in the first Oceania Cup in 1983 at New Caledonia, losing the final to New Zealand in extra time. It was the first time the Australians faced a team other than the "Football Ferns" of New Zealand. A team would not be assembled again until the next edition of the tournament in 1986 tournament in New Zealand, which featured Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan, as well as New Zealand's B team. Australia lost in the final again, beaten 4–1 by Taiwan.[9][10]

The late 80s had Australia encountering the American and European teams for the first time in the 1987 Women's World Invitational Tournament in Taiwan, and the 1988 FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament in China. For the latter tournament, the players had to sew themselves the own Australian crests onto the team tracksuits.[11] Hosting the 1989 Oceania Cup, the Australians finished third. The 1991 tournament doubled as qualifiers for the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup, and the winner was determined by the best results from a group. Australia finished level on points with New Zealand, but had scored fewer goals, which resulted in New Zealand progressed to the World Cup as OFC representative.

The 1990s

Between 1991 and 1994, the Matildas played internationally during a tour of Russia in 1994. The Oceania tournament in 1995 again doubled as World Cup qualifiers in the same round-robin format. Again, Australia finished even with New Zealand on points but this time had a superior goal difference, and qualified for their first FIFA Women's World Cup.[10]

Before 1995, the nickname for the women's team was just "Female Socceroos", derivative of the male squad. Thus in 1995 the Australian Women's Soccer Association joined with Special Broadcasting Service to broadcast a naming competition for the female team. Out of five names, the popular vote chose "Matildas", from the song "Waltzing Matilda". The players themselves did not approve of the name, and took years to use the moniker to describe the team.[12]

At the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden, Australia were grouped with the United States, China and Denmark. During their opening match against Denmark, they lost 5–0. During the team's second match, a 4–2 loss to China, Angela Iannotta scored Australia's first goal at a World Cup. In the final group match against cup holders the United States, Australia scored first but went on to lose 4–1.

The Matildas would assert their Continental strength at the 1998 Oceania Cup, which doubled as a World Cup qualifying tournament. Australia thrashed their Pacific island opposition in their group games and semi-final, before defeating hosts New Zealand in the final 3–1 (the only goal conceded for the tournament), and qualifying for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup in USA. At the tournament, Australia was grouped with Sweden, China and Ghana. In their opening match, they secured their first non-loss in a World Cup match with a 1–1 draw against the Ghanaians. Their following group matches were both 3–1 losses, finishing third in the group, but showing improvement on previous tournaments.

Australia still did not have much attention and respect, with the Matildas forced to train with second-hand equipment from the Socceroos, not getting paid and with few games to play.[10] To promote themselves and raise funds for the team, in 1999 the Matildas posed nude for a calendar, which sold over 40,000 units.[12]

The 2000s

The profile built for the sport carried into 2000, where the Matildas had a guaranteed spot for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. While in January a friendly match against the Czech Republic in Melbourne's Bob Jane Stadium attracted only 1,500 spectators, a crowd of 10,000 came to the Matildas' game against China at the Sydney Football Stadium in June.[12] Much anticipation surrounded the team's Olympic performance on home soil, but a 3–0 loss to Germany in their opening game brought those hopes down. A draw with Sweden and a final loss to Brazil ended their tournament in the first round. While the on-field performance was disappointing, attendances at matches were high for women's soccer in Australia, raising the profile of the game.

The team were the host nation for an annual invitational tournament called the Australia Cup, from 1999 to 2004 inclusive, winning it twice.

Following the Olympics, many problems halted the Matildas' schedules. As Ernie Merrick backed out on his intentions to coach the team, Adrian Santrac only took over as manager in November, and Australia played no games in 2001. The following year the team argued over the calendar proceeds with the promoter, and AWSA went defunct, being absorbed by Soccer Australia (current Football Federation Australia). In-between, many players opted to retire from the national team.[13]

In 2003, they won the Oceania Cup and qualified for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, where they finished in the first round.

The team won the 2004 OFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Fiji to return to Olympic tournament in Athens 2004.[14] The Matildas won their first Olympic game ever against Greece, and managed to qualify for the quarterfinals,[15] losing to Sweden 2–1.[16]

In 2006, Australia moved from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation, and the country was given hosting rights to the AFC Women's Asian Cup that same year. The opening game for the Matildas was against South Korea. An early own goal by South Korea put the Matilda's up, finishing with 3 goals in the second half to give them a 4–0 win. The second match against Myanmar was also a win to the Matildas, who finished with 2 goals, with Sally Shipard and Lisa De Vanna scoring one a piece. The Matildas went on to reach the final, being defeated 4–2 on penalties by China after having a two-goal half time lead.

2007 World Cup

Australia qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup and drawn into Group C. They defeated Ghana 4–1 on 12 September in Hangzhou,[17] followed by a 1–1 draw against Norway at the same venue on 15 September. Thanks to a late goal from Cheryl Salisbury, they drew against Canada 2–2 on 20 September in Chengdu to advance to the knockout round for the first time in team history. Australia came up against Brazil in their elimination match, losing to Brazil 3–2 to end their 2007 World Cup run at the quarter-final stage.

2008 tournaments

The Matildas failed to get through qualifiers for the 2008 Olympics held in 2007, where they lost to Korea DPR both home and away in the final round.

In 2008, the Matildas competed in the 2008 AFC Women's Asian Cup. They were drawn in Group B, placing second in the group with relative ease behind Japan, who they would eventually face in the third place playoff. With the Matildas progressing from the group stage to the semi-finals, they were paired up against Korea DPR. Korea DPR won the match 3–0 and went on to win the tournament. This led them on to the third place playoff, facing Japan for a second time in the tournament and lgain losing, leaving the Matildas in fourth place.

The 2010s

External video
Aussies Abroad: The Matildas (ESPN) retrieved 12/18/2013

In 2010 the Matildas qualified for the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup in China. They beat Vietnam (2–0) and South Korea (3–1) before losing to China 1–0 which made them advance in second place and advance to the Semi Finals where they beat Japan 1–0. The final which was played in wet conditions was history making itself with it being the first senior soccer team (men or women) to make a final in the AFC. They created more history by being the first ever Australian soccer team to win in Asia after beating at the finals the team of Korea DPR in penalties, 5–4, after a regular time score of 1–1 (Australia's goal being scored by Samantha Kerr). The title gave the Matildas a berth at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.[18]

The following year the team contested the World Cup, being sorted into Group D. Despite losing 1–0 to Brazil in the opening game, victories of 3–2 and 2–1 over Equatorial Guinea and Norway respectively qualified the Matildas to the quarterfinals.[19] At the knockout stage, the team lost 3–1 to Sweden. Caitlin Foord was awarded Best Young Player of the tournament, and defender Elise Kellond-Knight was chosen for the All-Star Team.

During the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, they became the first Australian team, men's or women's, to win a knockout stage match at a World Cup when they defeated Brazil by a score of 1–0. The goal was scored by Kyah Simon after a shot by Lisa de Vanna was blocked and redirected by goalkeeper Luciana. In the quarterfinals, the Matildas lost to defending champions Japan in a late goal by Mana Iwabuchi.[20]

The following year, they contested in qualifiers for the 2016 Summer Olympics where they finished on top of the group after defeating all of the opponents bar China,[21] to get to the Olympic Games. Drawn in Group F, Australia lost to Canada, conceded a draw to Germany, and defeated Zimbabwe in a blowout to finish as the best third placed team. The adversary in the quarterfinals were hosts Brazil,[22] who avenged the defeat one year prior in the penalty shootouts as goalkeeper Bárbara saved Alanna Kennedy's kick.[23]


Winners: 1995, 1998, 2003
Runners-up: 1983, 1986, 1991
Winners: 2010
Runners-up: 2006, 2014

Competitive record

FIFA Women's World Cup

FIFA Women's World Cup record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
China 1991 Did not qualify
Sweden 1995Group stage12th3003313
United States 1999Group stage11th301237
United States 2003Group stage13th301235
China 2007Quarter-finals6th412197
Germany 2011Quarter-finals8th420267
Canada 2015Quarter-finals7th521255
France 2019To be determined
Total6/70 titles2155112943

Olympic Games

Olympic Games record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
United States 1996 Did not qualify
Australia 2000Group stage7th301226
Greece 2004Quarter-finals5th411234
China 2008 Did not qualify
United Kingdom 2012
Brazil 2016Quarter-finals7th412185
Japan 2020To be determined
Total3/60 titles112451315

OFC Women's Championship

OFC Women's Championship record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
New Caledonia 1983Runners-up2nd4211203
New Zealand 1986Runners-up2nd420246
Australia 1989Third place3rd411276
Australia 1991Runners-up2nd4301211
Papua New Guinea 1995Champions1st4301132
New Zealand 1998Champions1st4400491
Australia 2003Champions1st4400450
Total7/73 titles28192715919

AFC Women's Asian Cup

AFC Women's Asian Cup record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
Hong Kong 1975Third place3rd4202126
Australia 2006Runners up2nd6420152
Vietnam 2008Fourth place4th520379
China 2010Champions1st540173
Vietnam 2014Runners up2nd531195
Total5/51 title2515375025

AFF Women's Championship

AFF Women's Championship record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
Vietnam 2004Did not participate
Vietnam 2006
Myanmar 2007
Vietnam 2008Champion1st5500211
Laos 2011Did not participate
Vietnam 2012
2013–presentSee Australia women's national under-20 soccer team
Total1/61 title5500211


Current squad

The following 18 players were named for the 2016 Olympics.[24] Caps and goals correct as of 14 August 2016.

Head coach: Alen Stajcic

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Williams, LydiaLydia Williams (1988-05-13) 13 May 1988 57 0 United States Houston Dash
18 1GK Arnold, MackenzieMackenzie Arnold (1994-02-25) 25 February 1994 11 0 Australia Perth Glory

4 2DF Polkinghorne, ClareClare Polkinghorne (Co-captain) (1989-02-01) 1 February 1989 92 7 Australia Brisbane Roar
5 2DF Alleway, LauraLaura Alleway (1989-11-28) 28 November 1989 48 2 United States Orlando Pride
7 2DF Catley, StephSteph Catley (1994-01-26) 26 January 1994 53 2 United States Orlando Pride
12 2DF Carpenter, EllieEllie Carpenter (2000-04-28) 28 April 2000 5 0 Australia Western Sydney Wanderers
14 2DF Kennedy, AlannaAlanna Kennedy (1995-01-21) 21 January 1995 48 2 United States Western New York Flash

3 3MF Gorry, KatrinaKatrina Gorry (1992-08-13) 13 August 1992 49 13 Australia Brisbane Roar
6 3MF Logarzo, ChloeChloe Logarzo (1994-12-22) 22 December 1994 13 0 Sweden Eskilstuna United
8 3MF Kellond-Knight, EliseElise Kellond-Knight (1990-08-10) 10 August 1990 76 1 Germany 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam
9 3MF Foord, CaitlinCaitlin Foord (1994-11-11) 11 November 1994 50 8 Australia Sydney FC
10 3MF van Egmond, EmilyEmily van Egmond (1993-07-12) 12 July 1993 57 14 Germany VfL Wolfsburg
13 3MF Butt, TamekaTameka Butt (1991-06-16) 16 June 1991 55 7 Sweden Mallbackens

2 4FW Crummer, LarissaLarissa Crummer (1996-01-10) 10 January 1996 13 2 Australia Melbourne City
11 4FW De Vanna, LisaLisa De Vanna (Co-captain) (1984-11-14) 14 November 1984 117 40 United States Orlando Pride
15 4FW Kerr, SamanthaSamantha Kerr (1993-09-10) 10 September 1993 46 8 United States Sky Blue FC
16 4FW Heyman, MichelleMichelle Heyman (1988-07-04) 4 July 1988 53 20 Australia Canberra United
17 4FW Simon, KyahKyah Simon (1991-06-25) 25 June 1991 70 21 United States Boston Breakers

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Australia squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Dumont, CaseyCasey Dumont (1992-01-25) 25 January 1992 3 0 Australia Western Sydney Wanderers 2016 Summer OlympicsALT

DF Cooper, CaitlinCaitlin Cooper (1988-02-12) 12 February 1988 7 1 Australia Western Sydney Wanderers 2016 Summer OlympicsALT
DF Allen, TeigenTeigen Allen (1994-02-12) 12 February 1994 39 0 Australia Melbourne City v.  New Zealand, 7 June 2016
DF Yeoman-Dale, GeorgiaGeorgia Yeoman-Dale (1994-02-24) 24 February 1994 4 0 Australia Sydney FC AIS Training Camp, 4 May 2016
DF Beard, AngelaAngela Beard (1997-08-16) 16 August 1997 0 0 Australia Brisbane Roar AIS training camp, 4 January 2016
DF Polias, TeresaTeresa Polias (1990-05-16) 16 May 1990 10 0 Australia Sydney FC AIS training camp, 12 November 2015
DF Brush, EllieEllie Brush (1988-08-19) 19 August 1988 2 0 United States Houston Dash AIS training camp, 12 November 2015

MF Luik, AiviAivi Luik (1985-03-18) 18 March 1985 16 0 England Notts County 2016 Summer OlympicsALT
MF Munoz, CaitlinCaitlin Munoz (1983-10-04) 4 October 1983 57 13 Unattached AIS Training Camp, 4 May 2016
MF Harrison, AmyAmy Harrison (1996-04-21) 21 April 1996 3 0 Australia Sydney FC AIS training camp, 17 December 2015
MF Raso, HayleyHayley Raso (1994-09-05) 5 September 1994 14 1 United States Portland Thorns FC v.  England, 27 October 2015

FW Gielnik, EmilyEmily Gielnik (1992-05-13) 13 May 1992 9 1 Australia Brisbane Roar 2016 Summer OlympicsALT
FW Andrews, TaraTara Andrews (1994-03-13) 13 March 1994 2 0 Australia Newcastle Jets AIS Training Camp, 4 May 2016
FW Sykes, AshleighAshleigh Sykes (1991-12-15) 15 December 1991 19 5 Japan AS Harima ALBION 2016 Summer Olympics qualifiers
FW Ibini, PrincessPrincess Ibini (2000-01-31) 31 January 2000 0 0 Australia Sydney FC AIS training camp, 17 December 2015
FW Khamis, LeenaLeena Khamis (1986-06-19) 19 June 1986 25 5 Australia Sydney FC AIS training camp, 12 November 2015


Coaching staff

Position Name
Head coach Australia Alen Stajcic
Assistant coach Australia Gary van Egmond
Goalkeeping coach Australia Paul Jones


Most caps

Salisbury, CherylCheryl Salisbury1994–200915138
Garriock, HeatherHeather Garriock1999–201113020
De Vanna, LisaLisa De Vanna2004–11038
Peters, JoanneJoanne Peters1996–200911028
Tann, AnissaAnissa Tann1988–20021028

Most goals

Gill, KateKate Gill2004–20158641
De Vanna, LisaLisa De Vanna2004–11038
Salisbury, CherylCheryl Salisbury1994–200915138
Walsh, SarahSarah Walsh2004–20127032
Peters, JoanneJoanne Peters1996–200911028


Recent results and fixtures

Historical results and fixtures

Years Article
1975 to 1999 Australia women's national soccer team results (1975–99)
2000 to 2009 Australia women's national soccer team results (2000–09)
2010 onwards Australia women's national soccer team results (2010–19)
2016–17 season Current Season

See also


  1. "Teams of the Decades – Women's 1990–1999". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  2. "FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking: Women's Ranking". FIFA. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  3. Williams 2007, p. 165
  4. Stokkermans, Karel; Cruickshank, Mark; Fadeyev, Sergey; Lewis, Tom; Garin, Erik (30 May 2013). "Asian Women's Championship". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  5. Cruickshank, Mark (31 December 2009). "Women's World Invitation Tournament 1978". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  6. "Teams of the Decades – Women's 1979–1989". Football Federation Australia. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  7. Dolan, Julie. "1978 – World Women's Invitational Tournament Taiwan". Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  8. Williams 2007, p. 157
  9. Garin, Eric (31 March 2011). "Oceania Cup (Women)". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  10. 1 2 3 "It's been a long road to recognition as Matildas face their shot at glory". Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  11. "Women's World Cup 2015: Remove the gender lens and back the Matildas". 2015-06-20. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  12. 1 2 3 Wilson, Caroline (11 September 2000). "A naked desire to win some credibility". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 17 October 2000.
  13. "Waltzing a fine line". 2003-01-24. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  14. "Team Profile – Australia". Fox Sports Pulse. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  15. "Matildas to face Sweden | : The World Game". Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  16. "Olympic Football Tournaments Athens 2004 – Women – Sweden 2:1 (2:0) Australia – Overview". 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  17. "Women kick off World Cup campaign in style". Sydney Morning Herald. 13 September 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
  18. "Matildas win Asian Cup on penalties". Sydney Morning Herald. 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  19. "Australia Vs Equatorial Guinea: Blatant Handball Missed By Referee". Sydney Morning Herald. 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  20. Iwabuchi (2015-06-27). "FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015™ – Matches – Australia-Japan". Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  21. "Westfield Matildas qualify for the Rio Olympics!". Football Australia. 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
  22. Ultimate Guide: The Matildas take on host nation Brazil for a place in the Rio 2016 semi-finals
  23. Rio 2016: Matildas go down to Brazil in quarter-final shoot-out
  24. "Australian Women's Football Team named for Rio Games". Football Federation Australia. 4 July 2016.
  25. "Match Report: CAN vs AUS" (PDF). Rio 2016 Official Website. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  26. "Match Report: GER vs AUS" (PDF). Rio 2016 Official Website. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  27. "Match Report: AUS vs ZIM" (PDF). Rio 2016 Official Website. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  28. "Match Report: BRA vs AUS" (PDF). Rio 2016 Official Website. Retrieved 12 August 2016.


  • Williams, Jean (2007). "Waltzing the Matildas: Women's Football in Australia". A Beautiful Game: International Perspectives on Women's Football. Berg Publishers. ISBN 978-1845206758. 

External links

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