Analysis: Why we can we win next World Cup

Sam Kerr pulls off a stunning back-flip after her second goal in the win over Brazil on Tuesday night.

Can the Westfield Matildas win the next FIFA Women’s World Cup? It’s a question that’s being asked more and more regularly given the performances from Alen Stajcic’s side in recent times.

The message from the coach and star players like Lisa De Vanna and Sam Kerr has always followed the same path.

‘We want to be the best in the world and win the World Cup’.

Is that a pipe-dream or reality? Recent events would suggest the latter.

In their last five matches – including Tuesday night’s 3-2 win over the Samba stars in Newcastle – Australia has beaten the world no.1 USA, Asian heavyweights Japan, as well as Brazil a record three times in a row.

And they’ve done it scoring 16 goals while conceding just six.

It’s also the first time a senior Westfield Matildas team has won five international matches in a row.

The win over the USA at the Tournament of Nations was an especially significant result.

Not only was it Australia’s first win over the US in their history, it proved to the fans – and more importantly, the players – that the best side in the world is not unbeatable.

On a given day, Australia can beat the USA in women’s football.

If the two should clash in a knockout match at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Westfield Matildas would have a valuable point of reference.

Remember Seattle 2017.

Remember the day when Tameka Butt’s goal was enough for a 1-0 win.

It’s no longer something which has been dreamed about, but not achieved.

These players now know how to beat the USA.

That’s massive.

The Tournament of Nations win also swung the nation behind their new sporting darlings.

A sold-out crowd packed into Pepper Stadium on Saturday, bringing tears to the eyes of even the most-seasoned veterans in the Westfield Matildas side.

The momentum gained from such strong, partisan support cannot be underestimated.

Striker Sam Kerr is now a true star of women’s football and is a strong tip to be named FIFA women’s player of the year at next month’s glitzy awards in London.

But she’s by no means the leader of a one-woman band.

Lisa De Vanna’s stunning goal on Saturday was just the latest in a long line of eye-catching moments from the veteran striker.

Others like Stephanie Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight, Caitlin Foord, Katrina Gorry, Emily van Egmond and Alanna Kennedy continue to consistently produce at the highest level.

And there’s a new wave of youngsters like Ellie Carpenter, Chloe Logarzo and Hayley Raso – just to name a few – stepping up to the plate as well.

Everyone wants to be a part of this brave and exciting new world of Australian women’s football.

Winning the FIFA World Cup certainly won’t be easy.

European powerhouses Germany, England and 2019 hosts France have very solid women’s sides.

Canada are improving and the USA will come again.

But if we crystal-ball gaze two years into the future, and allow ourselves to dream a little, is it possible that it’ll be Australian hands gleefully thrusting the World Cup into the Paris sky?

Yes. Yes, it is.

The Westfield Matildas celebrate a goal in he 3-2 win over Brazil in Newcastle.

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Alen Stajcic’s warriors fill us all with hope

Westfield Matildas players celebrate one of Sam Kerr's goals against Brazil in Newcastle.

It’s said in football that it’s the hope that kills you.

That feeling that your club side will ultimately let you down.

In the Westfield Matildas, Australia has something different.

There’s a new hope that stretches way beyond football, beyond sport.

It’s a change in attitude to a team that has deserved recognition for the hard work so many have fought so hard for, for so many years.


In the past week, more than 30,000 fans have spent their hard earned to watch a team clearly on the rise.

On Saturday, in close proximity to an AFL final on the same day, the Westfield Matildas had more people in the stands. A sell out no less in Penrith.

It’s because on the pitch there’s a sense that something special is coming.


Centre-back: Alanna KennedyIn Sam Kerr, the Westfield Matildas have their hero.

A hat-trick against Brazil in the Tournament of Nations and three goals in her last two.

The backflips as common as goalkeepers having to pick the ball out of the net from her feet and head.

Marta has been the Messi of women’s football for so long.

Sam has made her look old in the last three games.

Australian fans didn’t descend on Penrith and Newcastle for Marta, they came for Kerr.

A changing of the guard perhaps.

Kerr may be the most in form Australian in world sport right now.


Sam Kerr celebrates a goal for the Westfield Matildas.No other seems to fulfil that expectation of results so regularly at the moment.

When we think of the greats of Australian sport we just know they deliver when needed.

Tim Cahill has proved it for the Caltex Socceroos for so long.

Outside our sport, Johnathan Thurston always nails a kick to win a game in league.

Buddy Franklin’s left boot always sends them soaring to goal in AFL.

Kerr is expected to score every game, it’s what the fans came to see. And she’s delivering.

But as the cliche goes, it takes more than one player to make a team.

The Matildas have that other so valued coaches cliche.

A blend of youth and experience.

Lisa De Vanna lets fly with a stunning volley to open the scoring for the Westfield Matildas.

In Lisa De Vanna, they have it in bundles.

It was the 32-year-olds incredible strike that set the sold-out Penrith crowd into raptures.

At 29, Lydia Williams was instrumental in keeping the score to 1-0 in the first half in Newcastle.

Caitlin Foord bagged a goal after just four minutes on the field.

Foord with plenty of football to come at just 22-years of age.

So the future is bright and the hope is real.

A hope that stretches beyond the normal bounds of a pessimistic football fan.

11 goals in three games against a powerhouse of football in Brazil has Australia primed.

An AFC Asian Cup to come next year and a FIFA Women’s World Cup 12 months after that.

Alen Stajcic and his warriors are on their way and Australia is behind them.

The Westfield Matildas celebrate a goal in he 3-2 win over Brazil in Newcastle.

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Westfield Matildas to play China in Victoria in November

The Westfield Matildas will play China in a two-match series in November.

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

These matches will come off the back of the Westfield 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 Westfield 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 Westfield 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.

Sam Kerr pulls off a stunning back-flip after her second goal in the win over Brazil on Tuesday night.

“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.

Westfield 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.

Goalkeeper Lydia Williams takes a selfie with a lucky fan.

The Victorian Minister for Sport, The Hon John Eren MP, was also proud to be able to host the Westfield 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 Westfield Matildas are currently ranked 6th in the world with China PR at 13th (as at 1 September 2017). The Westfield 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 years at the Algarve Cup in Portugal (06-03-17) which saw the Westfield Matildas win 2–1.

Members of the Football Family will be able to purchase discounted tickets for both matches from 12pm (AEST), Friday 22 September with General Public On-Sale from 12pm (AEST) Tuesday 26 September.

Tickets for both matches are available for purchase from

FOX SPORTS will broadcast both matches live.

Match Details

Westfield Matildas v China PR

AAMI Park, Melbourne

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Kick Off: 7:30pm (AEDT)

Westfield Matildas defender Hayley Raso fights for possession.

Westfield Matildas v China PR

Simonds Stadium, Geelong

Sunday 26 November 2017

Kick-Off: 4:30pm (AEDT)

Tickets for both matches on sale to the General Public from 12pm (AEST), Tuesday 26 September 2017

Members of the Football Family are eligible to receive a special discount offer for the two matches from 12pm Friday 22 September.

Tickets for both matches are available for purchase from

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Caltex Socceroos playoff: Syria’s record in Malaysia

Syria players celebrate a goal against China in Malaysia.

The Caltex Socceroos next assignment to qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup begins with an away leg against Syria on neutral soil in Malaysia.

Caltex Socceroos v Syria: get tickets here

Syria have played all their ‘home’ qualification matches in Malaysia so far due to the situation in their war-torn nation.

So how have the 75 th -ranked Syrian’s fared in their ‘home away from home’?

We look back at their record in Malaysia in their five group games during the most recent phase of qualifying.


After losing their first group match 1-0 in Uzbekistan, Syria opened their home campaign against Korea Republic at Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi, Malaysia last September.

A goal-less draw gained Syria their first point in Group A.


Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium was again the venue for the visit of eventual group winners Iran in November.


As with their previous home game, the contest finish in a scoreless draw.


Syria changed venue for their remaining home games, playing at Hang Jebat Stadium in Krubong.

The ground switch paid off, with Syria gaining their first home victory of the final group stages in March, beating Uzbekistan 1-0, courtesy of an added-time penalty from Omar Kharbin.

Syria in action during a home qualifier in Malaysia.


Syria were back in Krubong in June for a clash with China.

An early penalty from Mahmoud Al Mawas gave them a 1-0 lead, but two goals in seven second-half minutes put the visitors ahead.

However, a late strike from Ahmad Al Saleh earned the Syrians a vital point.


Syria’s final home group game, again in Krubong, was against bottom side Qatar in late August.

Omar Kharbin put the home side into an early 1-0 lead, but the Qataris equalised before half-time.

Kharbin restored the advantage early in the second half before an added time goal from Mahmoud Al Mawas gave Syria their most comfortable win of the final group stages.

new Syria banner

FIFA 18 will be released worldwide on Friday 29 September, while those who pre-order the Ronaldo or Icon editions through can receive 3 Days Early Access.


Source  :  Football Federation Australia