What you need to know about the Matildas' Rio adventure

After a sensational 2-1 win over DPR Korea in Japan, Australia's national women's team sealed qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Matildas celebrate

Source: Getty Images



It’s the first time the Matildas have qualified for the competition in 12 years, where they were knocked out by Sweden in the quarter-finals of the 2004 Athens Games.

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In this instance, the Matildas brushed aside any pressure and played their usual attacking, style of football that helped to capture a nation.

After four wins on the trot in the qualifying tournament, the Matildas have a final hit-out on Wednesday evening against fellow qualifiers China PR in what should be a game of celebration for both nations.

It will then be an exciting and somewhat frustrating few months for the Matildas as they patiently wait for early August when the Rio Games kick off.

Glowing with confidence and with just one loss this year, there's no doubt that Alen Stajcic’s team want the tournament to start sooner than later.

When is it?

The official opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics is 5 August (local time), with the first round of women’s football tournament group games kicking-off two days earlier and the final on 19 August.

Where is it?

A total of 58 men's and women's matches - 26 in the women's - will be played across seven stadiums in six different cities.

Belo Horizonte (Estadio Mineirao, 58,170 capacity)
Brasilia (Estadio Nacional, 69,349 capacity)
Manaus (Arena Amazonia, 40,549 capacity)
Rio de Janeiro (Estadio do Maracana, 74,738 capacity and Estadio Joao Havelange, 46,931 capacity)
Salvador (Arena Fonte Nova, 51,900 capacity)
Sao Paulo (Arena Corinthians, 62,601 capacity)

What is the qualification system?

The 12 qualified teams are split into three groups of four teams from the following confederations AFC: 2 CAF: 2 CONCACAF: 2 CONMEBOL: 1 OFC: 1 UEFA: 3 Host (Brazil) 1.

Each team will play three group games before the top two teams gain qualification to the quarter-finals, along with the two best third placed outfits.

Quarter-final, semi-final and final fixtures are all knockout with the option of extra time and penalties.

Which nations have already qualified?

Eleven out of 12 teams have already qualified: Australia join hosts Brazil, China PR, South Africa, Zimbabwe, France, Germany, Canada, USA, New Zealand and Colombia.

Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland are competing for the final spot.

What are Australia's chances of a medal?

Australia are currently ranked ninth in the world, although fourth, fifth and sixth ranked England, Japan and Korea DPR failed to qualify.

It certainly gives the Matildas a strong chance of getting out of the group and a good chance of reaching the semi-finals where anything can happen.

Who are the favorites?

USA are earmarked as the team to beat with a wealth of quality players and a hugely expanding National Women’s Soccer League that boasts plenty of investment.

They also have midfielder Carli Lloyd at their disposal, who is the reigning best female footballer in the world and picked up the Golden Ball at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Germany always serve well in the big competitions while No. 7 ranked Brazil will be strongly considered on home soil.


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3 min read
Published 8 March 2016 at 11:44am
By SBS Staff
Source: SBS