Osaka: Join the-afc.com as we look at Australia, one of the six teams who will feature in the 2016 Olympics Asian women’s qualification final round which starts on Monday.
FIFA Women’s World Ranking: 9th
AFC Women’s Ranking: 3rd
Olympic Games: Quarter-Finals 2004; Group Stage 2000
AFC Women’s Asian Cup (1): 2010; Runner-up 2014, 2006; Third 1975; Fourth 2008
FIFA Women’s World Cup: Quarter-Finals 2015, 2011, 2007; Group Stage 2003, 1999, 1995
Having never qualified for the Olympic Games since joining the Asian Football Confederation, Australia will be looking to convert their impressive AFC Women’s Asian Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup form into qualification for Rio 2016.
The Matildas’ maiden appearance at the Olympic Games came via automatic qualification as hosts for the 2000 edition in Sydney, but a tough group including Germany, Brazil and Sweden saw them exit at the group stage.
An improved performance in Athens at the 2004 Olympic Games saw Australia reach the quarter-finalswhere they lost 2-1 to Sweden, but since then the Matildas have been edged out in qualifying in consecutive campaigns by DPR Korea.
A nominee for last year’s AFC Women’s Player of the Year award, FFC Turbine Potsdam’s defensive midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight has been racking up the plaudits since she started her career in 2008 with Brisbane Roar.
Skilled in breaking up opponents’ attacks and acting as a vital screen for the Matildas’ backline, the Germany-based midfielder Kellond-Knight was also chosen to be on the FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Teams in 2011 and 2015, the year she helped Australia reach the quarter-finals
Matildas coach Alen Stajcic took charge ahead of the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and followed up an impressive runners-up place in Vietnam with a quarter-final finish at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
As well as his long-time in women’s football development in Australia, the 42-year-old previously coached NSW Sapphires and Sydney FC Women.
Source : Asian Football Confederation Website