• The Matilda's pose for a team photo with the Aboriginal flag prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games first round football match against New Zealand. (AFP via Getty Images)Source: AFP via Getty Images
The team proudly displayed the Aboriginal flag in a group photo prior to taking out the match 2-1.
Shahni Wellington

22 Jul 2021 - 10:10 AM  UPDATED 22 Jul 2021 - 10:10 AM

The Australian national women's football team, the Matildas, have started their Olympic campaign with a bang.

Their quest for a gold medal began on Thursday night, defeating New Zealand in a 2-1 tussle in the first match. 

Ahead of kick-off - Global audiences were treated to a show of solidarity as the side huddled together to proudly display the Aboriginal flag.

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The Australian side then proceeded to stand arm-in-arm on the halfway line as New Zealand’s players dropped to one knee to take a stand against racism.

Political protests were controversially banned from the 2021 Olympics, however taking a knee just before kick off is permitted and taking pre-game team photos is commonplace.

The team boasts the talents of three Indigenous women at the highest level, including striker Kyah Simon, her cousin and defender Gema Simon and goalkeeper Lydia Williams.

Matildas' captain Sam Kerr told the media she was proud of their actions.

"We are really proud of it ... it's something we spoke about a lot as a team. We let the Indigenous girls drive it," she said after the match.

"We didn't want to do something that goes along with the grain, we wanted to do something that was relevant for our country."

Australia takes on world number five ranked Sweden in their next clash on Saturday.

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