Matildas v France Ultimate Guide

The Matildas meet France in the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Saturday night in Brisbane as they look to buck a trend among hosts at the major tournament.

There are eight teams remaining, including the reigning European champions, the 2011 World Cup winners and Euro 2017 victors, but are the Matildas the team to beat?

Australia are riding a wave, on and off the field, as the co-hosts prepare for a blockbuster showdown against world number five France in Brisbane on Saturday night.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JULY 20: Clare Hunt of Australia in action during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group B match between Australia and Ireland at Stadium Australia on July 20, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Matildas are coming off a 4-0 rout of Canada and a 2-0 win over Denmark, the latter which marked the much-anticipated return of superstar captain Sam Kerr in front of a capacity crowd of more than 75,000 fans in Sydney.

Australia have matched their best-ever performance at a World Cup but they will have to buck a trend to reach the semi-finals; The host nation have lost in the quarter-finals in each of the last four editions of the World Cup.

The last country that managed to progress further was the United States in 2003. In fact, USA are the only host to have reached the semi-finals, doing so in 1999 and 2003.

The competition is also still stacked with powerhouse nations and teams who have tasted success before. Should the Matildas progress, a potential semi-final matchup with European champions England could await, while 2011 World Cup winners Japan, star-studded Spain and world no.3 Sweden are also on the other side of the draw.

But A-Leagues legend Cath Cannuli – a four-time Australia international – feels the Matildas are now the favourites to win the World Cup as they prepare to reunite with France. Australia were 1-0 winners of the Euro 2022 semi-finalist in a send-off game last month.

“I think they are,” she said on KEEPUP’s Dub at the Cup Podcast when asked if Australia are the team to beat from here.

“Now, looking at the way they’ve been playing. They were better against Canada than they were against Denmark. They had more success going forward. They were a little bit more energetic against Canada too.

“But they have momentum now. They have the confidence within the group. If Sam Kerr comes back into the team, that gives them another massive boost of confidence because (of) what they’ve done without her.

“They have beaten France, so mentally, they are prepared that they can beat them and I just think how the groups have fallen in to believe, I truly believe they can go all the way and that’s the scariest thing.”


Australia v France
 Saturday, August 12
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 5.00pm (AEST)
Broadcast: Optus Sport and Channel 7 


Saturday night’s game between Australia and France kicks off at 5pm AEST and will be available live and free on Network Seven, and available to stream for Optus Sport subscribers.


There are no available tickets to purchase – but FIFA resale Platform for tickets is your place to go to check for any already-purchased tickets put back on the market.


Kadidiatou Diani

The 28-year-old forward is at the peak of her powers after being named top scorer Division 1 Feminine last season, having scored 17 goals in 22 matches for Paris Saint-Germain.

She has since earned a big move to reigning champions Lyon, where she will team up with Matildas star Ellie Carpenter.

At this tournament, Diani has been a handful leading the line ahead of the country’s all-time leading goalscorer Eugenie Le Sommer, who has starred as a no.10 have been recalled from her two-year international hiatus by Herve Renard.

Diani scored a hat-trick in a 6-3 win over Panama and found the back of the net in France’s 4-0 rout of Morocco in the last 16.

She has been directly involved in seven goals at this World Cup 2023 (four goals, three assists), more than any other player. Indeed, she has scored with each of her last four shots on target in the competition. Only Japan’s Hinata Miyazawa (five) has scored more goals at the tournament.

Wendie Renard

The heart and soul of the national team, Renard almost did not feature at this World Cup after leading a player revolt against former coach Corinne Diacre in February.

She returned upon Renard’s appointment and said: “I am a competitor at heart. I love this jersey and I want to do everything to win a title with it.”

The inspiring 33-year-old captain is an experienced and towering presence, but there is so much more to her game. She is calm on the ball and a threat going forward. She scored the winning goal against Brazil in the group phase.

She is a mainstay of the France and Lyon team, and someone who Carpenter knows well. The Australian full-back has tasted Division 1 Feminine and UEFA Women’s Champions League glory alongside her.

Renard is also set to win her 150th cap for France. Sixteen of her 149 international appearances have been at the World Cup, with only Eugenie Le Sommer (19) appearing in the tournament more often for France.

Grace Geyoro

There is quality throughout France’s squad but a lot of their play goes through the Paris Saint-Germain captain and central midfielder.

“Grace Geyoro is such a phenomenal player going forward and they like to use her a lot if they go central,” KEEPUP’s Pokuah Frimpong said on Dub at the Cup.

“For the Matildas, they might have to use what the Nigerians used against us.

“Highlighting Geyoro is the centre of that midfield so if we can isolate her and mark her out of the game, they’re going to have a lot more success in those midfield battles. Just like the Nigerians did with Katrina Gorry. She probably had her worst game of the tournament.”


  • Australia and France will meet for the first time in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Australia have never lost when playing on their own soil against France in all competitions (W3 D1) with the most recent one happening in July 2023 (1-0), France’s only defeat during the Herve Renard era (W6 D1 L1).
  • This will be Australia’s fourth quarter-final at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, after taking part at this stage in three editions in a row between 2007 and 2015. However, Australia have lost each of those quarter-finals, scoring three goals and conceding seven in total.
  • Australia have won their last two games at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but are yet to win three games in a row in the competition. They have scored multiple goals in each of their last three games, their best such run in a World Cup.
  • Australia have kept a clean sheet in consecutive games at the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time. They have kept three clean sheets in four games at the tournament so far, one more than in their first 26 games in the competition (two).
  • France have lost only one of their last 12 World Cup games (W9 D2) but that sole defeat came in the quarter-finals in 2019 (1-2 v USA). Indeed, so far this tournament only Netherlands have had more shot ending high turnovers (15) and goal ending high turnovers (three) than France (13 and 2), with both such goals coming last time out against Morocco.
  • France have scored 12 goals at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, their first time with more than 10 goals in a single edition of the tournament. They have scored in all their previous eight knockout-stage games in the competition.
  • Hayley Raso has scored a total of three goals in her last two games in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, after failing to score in her first six appearances in the competition. Among the 13 players with 3+ goals in the competition this year, she is the only one to have converted at least 50% of her shots attempted (50%, 3/6)


Sam Kerr came off the bench to make her first appearance of the tournament, having been sidelined due to a calf injury.

But the question now is whether Tony Gustavsson star’s the star striker or sticks with the same starting XI that got the job done against Canada and Denmark?

“I would not be surprised at all if she starts again on the bench,” A-Leagues great Grace Gill said on Dub at the Cup.

“Seeing how the team goes against France. She has an incredible impact if she needs to be used. We saw the noise that it produced against Denmark – a spine-tingling moment.”

Then there is Kyah Simon, who is yet to play for the Matildas at this year’s World Cup.

She entered the tournament under an injury cloud but the former A-Leagues forward has appeared to step up training throughout the week.

Though, it remains to be seen whether Simon plays a part against the French.