There’s no rest for Aussie football fans as the Matildas’ Group G game against Sweden approaches.
Here’s everything you need to know about our upcoming match.
It was five years in the making but the Women’s Football Tournament at Tokyo 2020 finally got underway across the stadiums of Japan.
After five losses and a scoreless draw, the Matildas recorded their first victory of 2021 defeating New Zealand 2-1. In Australia’s fourth appearance at the Olympic Women’s Football Tournament, it was the first-ever opening game victory for the team.
Tameka Yallop’s strike opened the scoring before a Sam Kerr header doubled the Aussies’ advantage. Gabi Rennie’s late goal meant no clean sheet but the Matildas took home the win and the three points.
In the other Group G match, a highly anticipated game saw a score line few would have expected with Sweden dominating the USA 3-0.
A brace to Stina Blackstenius and a goal from Lina Hurtig saw Sweden come away from the game with three goals and just as many points.
Sweden and Australia sit first and second respectively in Group G with their encounter on Saturday evening set to be scintillating.
The win against New Zealand saw numerous Olympic debuts. From Mary Fowler and Kyra Cooney-Cross who entered the fray in the second half, to Emily Gielnik who missed out in 2016 and finally took to the pitch.
Then there was Yallop who didn’t set foot on the park in Rio but played an absolutely pivotal role in this clash against the Kiwis in what was her Olympic debut. Another debutant was Aivi Luik who has now added the Olympics to her resume after making her FIFA Women’s World Cup debut two years ago in France. She played a strong defensive role in this game.
Our next opponents will be familiar, not only because we played them in a June friendly but because Sweden is where many of the Matildas ply their trade domestically.
Emily Gielnik and Clare Polkinghorne are at Vittsjö while Elise Kellond-Knight is in her second stint with Hammarby. Charli Grant has made the move abroad for the first time and plays for FC Rosengård.
The Matildas always seem to find Sweden at major tournaments. The pair have met at three FIFA Women’s World Cups as well as two Olympics – Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004.
Since 1995 Australia and Sweden have played 12 matches. The Matildas’ lone win came in 1997. The Swedes have won seven and there have been four draws.
These sides faced off in June in a friendly with neither side able to find the back of the net. However, with the Olympics on the horizon, both teams didn’t show their full hands so expect a different result on Saturday.
How to watch
Match 2: Sweden v Australia
Date: Saturday, 24 July 2021
Venue: Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan
Kick-off: 5:30pm local; 6:30pm AEST
Broadcast: 7mate and 7plus app