|Association||Football Federation Australia|
|AFF (Southeast Asia)|
|Head coach||Ante Milicic|
|Most caps||Cheryl Salisbury (151)|
|Top scorer||Lisa De Vanna (47)|
|Current||8 (27 September 2019)|
|Highest||4 (December 2017)|
|Lowest||16 (October 2006)|
| Australia 2-2 New Zealand |
(Sutherland, Australia; 6 October 1979)
| Australia 21-0 American Samoa |
(Auckland, New Zealand; 9 October 1998)
| United States 9-1 Australia |
(Ambler, United States; 5 June 1997)
|Appearances||7 (first in 1995)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals (2007, 2011, 2015)|
|Appearances||7 (first in 1983)|
|Best result||Winners (1994, 1998, 2003)|
|Appearances||5 (first in 1975)|
|Best result||Winners (2010)|
The Australian women's national soccer team is overseen by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. The team's official nickname is the Matildas (from the Australian folk song "Waltzing Matilda"), having been known as the Female Socceroos before 1995. Under a naming rights deal with Scentre Group and its predecessor, Westfield Group, the team has been branded as Westfield Matildas since 2008.
Australia is a three-time OFC champion, one-time AFC champion and one-time AFF champion, and became the first ever national team to win in two different confederations (before the men's team did the same in 2015 AFC Asian Cup). The team has represented Australia at the FIFA Women's World Cup on seven occasions and at the Olympic Games on two, although it has won neither tournament. Immediately following the 2015 World Cup, Australia was ranked ninth in the world by FIFA.
The Australian Women's Soccer Association (AWSA) was founded in 1974 and a representative Australian team competed at the following year's Asian Women's Championship. A national team made up primarily of players from New South Wales and Western Australia was sent to the 1978 inaugural World Women's Invitational Tournament, in Taipei, Taiwan. Australia played against club teams at the tournament and none of the players' appearances counted as official caps. Coached by Jim Selby, the selected players were: Sandra Brentnall (WA), Connie Byrnes (captain, NSW), Julie Clayton (WA), Kim Coates (NSW), Julie Dolan (NSW), Cindy Heydon (NSW), Barbara Kozak (WA), Sharon Loveless (WA), Toni McMahon (NSW), Sue Monteath (QLD), Sharon Pearson (NSW), Judy Pettitt (WA), Anna Senjuschenko (WA), Teresa Varadi (WA), Leigh Wardell (NSW) and Monika Werner (VIC).
Australia's first official international match was against New Zealand at Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda, New South Wales, Australia on Saturday 6 October 1979, as it was billed as the "1st Australian Women's International Soccer Test". The Australian team listed in the match programme was Sue Monteath (Qld), Shona Bass (Vic), Kim Coates (Vic), Dianna Hall (SA), Carla Grims (SA), Fiana McKenzie (SA), Sandra Brentnall (WA), Judith Pettit (WA), Sharon Mateljan (WA), Julie Clayton (WA), Cindy Heydon (NSW), Julie Dolan (NSW), Toni McMahon (NSW), Jamie Rosman (NSW), Rosie van Bruinessen (NSW) and Leigh Wardell (NSW). Jim Selby remained as coach and the managers were Noelene Stanley and Elaine Watson. A lack of resources meant Australia's first eight official matches were all against New Zealand.
Australia played in the first Oceania Cup in 1983 at New Caledonia, losing the final to New Zealand in extra time. It was the first time the Australians faced a team other than the "Football Ferns" of New Zealand. A team would not be assembled again until the next edition of the tournament in 1986 tournament in New Zealand, which featured Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan, as well as New Zealand's B team. Australia lost in the final again, beaten 4-1 by Taiwan.
The late 80s had Australia encountering the American and European teams for the first time in the 1987 Women's World Invitational Tournament in Taiwan, and the 1988 FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament in China. For the latter tournament, the players had to sew themselves the own Australian crests onto the team tracksuits. Hosting the 1989 Oceania Cup in Brisbane, the Australians finished third (A team) and fourth (B team). The 1991 tournament doubled as qualifiers for the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup, and the winner was determined by the best results from a group. Australia finished level on points with New Zealand, but had scored fewer goals, which resulted in New Zealand progressed to the World Cup as OFC representative.
Between 1991 and 1994, the Matildas played internationally during a tour of Russia in 1994. The Oceania tournament in 1994 again doubled as World Cup qualifiers in the same round-robin format. Again, Australia finished even with New Zealand on points but this time had a superior goal difference, and qualified for their first FIFA Women's World Cup.
Before 1995, the nickname for the women's team was just "Female Socceroos", derivative of the male squad. Thus in 1995 the Australian Women's Soccer Association joined with Special Broadcasting Service to broadcast a naming competition for the female team. Out of five names, the popular vote chose "Matildas", from the song "Waltzing Matilda". The players themselves did not approve of the name, and took years to use the moniker to describe the team.
At the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden, Australia were grouped with the United States, China and Denmark. During their opening match against Denmark, they lost 5-0. During the team's second match, a 4-2 loss to China, Angela Iannotta scored Australia's first goal at a World Cup. In the final group match against cup holders the United States, Australia scored first but went on to lose 4-1.
The Matildas would assert their Continental strength at the 1998 Oceania Cup, which doubled as a World Cup qualifying tournament. Australia thrashed their Pacific island opposition in their group games and semi-final, before defeating hosts New Zealand in the final 3-1 (the only goal conceded for the tournament), and qualifying for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup in USA. At the tournament, Australia was grouped with Sweden, China and Ghana. In their opening match, they secured their first non-loss in a World Cup match with a 1-1 draw against the Ghanaians. Their following group matches were both 3-1 losses, finishing third in the group, but showing improvement on previous tournaments.
Australia still did not have much attention and respect, with the Matildas forced to train with second-hand equipment from the Socceroos, not getting paid and with few games to play. To promote themselves and raise funds for the team, in 1999 the Matildas posed nude for a calendar, which sold over 40,000 units.
The profile built for the sport carried into 2000, where the Matildas had a guaranteed spot for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. While in January a friendly match against the Czech Republic in Melbourne's Bob Jane Stadium attracted only 1,500 spectators, a crowd of 10,000 came to the Matildas' game against China at the Sydney Football Stadium in June. Much anticipation surrounded the team's Olympic performance on home soil, but a 3-0 loss to Germany in their opening game brought those hopes down. A draw with Sweden and a final loss to Brazil ended their tournament in the first round. While the on-field performance was disappointing, attendances at matches were high for women's soccer in Australia, raising the profile of the game.
The team were the host nation for an annual invitational tournament called the Australia Cup, from 1999 to 2004 inclusive, winning it twice.
Following the Olympics, many problems halted the Matildas' schedules. As Ernie Merrick backed out on his intentions to coach the team, Adrian Santrac only took over as manager in November, and Australia played no games in 2001. The following year the team argued over the calendar proceeds with the promoter, and AWSA went defunct, being absorbed by Soccer Australia (current Football Federation Australia). In-between, many players opted to retire from the national team.
In 2003, they won the Oceania Cup and qualified for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, where they finished in the first round.
The team won the 2004 OFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Fiji to return to Olympic tournament in Athens 2004. The Matildas won their first Olympic game ever against Greece, and managed to qualify for the quarterfinals, losing to Sweden 2-1.
In 2006, Australia moved from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation, and the country was given hosting rights to the AFC Women's Asian Cup that same year. The opening game for the Matildas was against South Korea. An early own goal by South Korea put the Matilda's up, finishing with 3 goals in the second half to give them a 4-0 win. The second match against Myanmar was also a win to the Matildas, who finished with 2 goals, with Sally Shipard and Lisa De Vanna scoring one a piece. The Matildas went on to reach the final, being defeated 4-2 on penalties by China after having a two-goal half time lead.
Australia qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup and drawn into Group C. They defeated Ghana 4-1 on 12 September in Hangzhou, followed by a 1-1 draw against Norway at the same venue on 15 September. Thanks to a late goal from Cheryl Salisbury, they drew against Canada 2-2 on 20 September in Chengdu to advance to the knockout round for the first time in team history. Australia came up against Brazil in their elimination match, losing to Brazil 3-2 to end their 2007 World Cup run at the quarter-final stage.
In 2008, the Matildas competed in the 2008 AFC Women's Asian Cup. They were drawn in Group B, placing second in the group with relative ease behind Japan, who they would eventually face in the third place playoff. With the Matildas progressing from the group stage to the semi-finals, they were paired up against Korea DPR. Korea DPR won the match 3-0 and went on to win the tournament. This led them on to the third place playoff, facing Japan for a second time in the tournament and again losing, leaving the Matildas in fourth place.
|Aussies Abroad: The Matildas (ESPN)|
In 2010 the Matildas qualified for the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup in China. They beat Vietnam (2-0) and South Korea (3-1) before losing to China 1-0 which made them advance in second place and advance to the Semi-finals where they beat Japan 1-0. The final which was played in wet conditions was history making itself with it being the first senior soccer team (men or women) to make a final in the AFC. They created more history by being the first ever Australian soccer team to win in Asia after beating at the finals the team of Korea DPR in penalties, 5-4, after a regular time score of 1-1 (Australia's goal being scored by Sam Kerr). The title gave the Matildas a berth at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.
The following year the team contested the World Cup, being sorted into Group D. Despite losing 1-0 to Brazil in the opening game, victories of 3-2 and 2-1 over Equatorial Guinea and Norway respectively qualified the Matildas to the quarterfinals. At the knockout stage, the team lost 3-1 to Sweden. Caitlin Foord was awarded Best Young Player of the tournament, and defender Elise Kellond-Knight was chosen for the All-Star Team.
During the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, they became the first Australian team, men's or women's, to win a knockout stage match at a World Cup when they defeated Brazil by a score of 1-0. The goal was scored by Kyah Simon after a shot by Lisa de Vanna was blocked and redirected by goalkeeper Luciana. In the quarterfinals, the Matildas lost to defending champions Japan in a late goal by Mana Iwabuchi.
The following year, they contested in qualifiers for the 2016 Summer Olympics where they finished on top of the group after defeating all of the opponents bar China, to get to the Olympic Games. Drawn in Group F, Australia lost to Canada, conceded a draw to Germany, and defeated Zimbabwe in a blowout to finish as the best third placed team. The adversary in the quarterfinals were hosts Brazil, who avenged the defeat one year prior in the penalty shootouts as goalkeeper Bárbara saved Alanna Kennedy's kick.
At the 2017 Tournament of Nations event, the Matildas recorded their first ever win over the United States after 27 attempts, defeating them 1-0 in Seattle. The Matildas went on to defeat Japan 4-2 and Brazil 6-1 to finish as the inaugural tournament champions. Following the Tournament of Nations, the Matildas scheduled a series of two friendlies hosting Brazil, with the first match at Penrith Stadium being sold-out, and an even larger crowd of nearly 17,000 attending the next match 3 days later in Newcastle.
At the 2018 AFC Asian Cup, Australia reached the final after defeating Thailand in the semi-final on penalty kicks. They would lose 1-0 to Japan in the final, but nonetheless secured a spot at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. Later that year at the 2018 Tournament of Nations Australia once again went undefeated, finishing the tournament with two wins and one draw. They were tied with the United States with 7 points, but the US had a superior goal differential and were crowned tournament champions.
Despite entering 2019 on the back of good form, the Matildas coach Alen Stajcic was sacked from the role in January 2019 by Football Federation Australia (FFA), whose chief executive David Gallop said the decision was based on confidential surveys and conversations with players and staff. The decision proved to be very controversial, as the FFA refused to discuss any further specifics as to the reasoning for the decision and was made only months out from a World Cup appearance. Some players, such as Sam Kerr, Lydia Williams and Elise Kellond-Knight spoke in support of Stajic and voiced their surprise at his sacking. Former men's national team assistant Ante Milicic was later appointed coach.
For the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, Australia was in Group C with Italy, Brazil, and Jamaica. A 2-1 loss to Italy was followed by a 3-2 win against Brazil. This victory was notable for 3 reasons - Australia came back from a 2-0 deficit, these were the first goals conceded by Brazil in the group stage in 16 years and it was their first group stage loss for 24 years.
Caps and goals are current as of 12 November 2019 after the match against Chile.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Lydia Williams||13 May 1988||84||0||Melbourne City|
|12||GK||Sarah Willacy||29 June 1995||0||0||Adelaide United|
|18||GK||Mackenzie Arnold||25 February 1994||23||0||Brisbane Roar|
|2||DF||Jenna McCormick||7 September 1994||2||0||Melbourne Victory|
|4||DF||Clare Polkinghorne||1 February 1989||121||9||Brisbane Roar|
|5||DF||Karly Roestbakken||17 January 2001||3||0||Canberra United|
|7||DF||Steph Catley||26 January 1994||78||2||Melbourne City|
|14||DF||Alanna Kennedy||21 January 1995||83||7||Sydney FC|
|21||DF||Ellie Carpenter||28 April 2000||38||1||Melbourne City|
|23||DF||Emma Checker||11 March 1996||5||0||Melbourne City|
|3||MF||Aivi Luik||18 March 1985||24||0||Avaldsnes IL|
|6||MF||Chloe Logarzo||22 December 1994||44||7||Sydney FC|
|10||MF||Emily van Egmond||12 July 1993||92||18||Melbourne City|
|13||MF||Tameka Yallop||16 June 1991||83||10||Brisbane Roar|
|19||MF||Katrina Gorry||13 August 1992||76||14||Brisbane Roar|
|22||MF||Amy Harrison||21 April 1996||13||0||Western Sydney Wanderers|
|9||FW||Caitlin Foord||11 November 1994||78||17||Sydney FC|
|15||FW||Emily Gielnik||13 May 1992||34||8||Bayern Munich|
|16||FW||Hayley Raso||5 September 1994||41||3||Brisbane Roar|
|20||FW||Sam Kerr (captain)||10 September 1993||83||38||Chelsea|
The following players have been called up to the squad within the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Teagan Micah||20 October 1997||0||0||UCLA Bruins||Training camp, 1-9 October 2019|
|GK||Annie Grove||15 June 2001||0||0||Canberra United||Training camp, 1-9 October 2019|
|GK||Eliza Campbell||16 May 1995||2||0||Perth Glory||2019 Cup of Nations|
|DF||Courtney Nevin||12 February 2002||0||0||Western Sydney Wanderers||Training camp, 1-9 October 2019|
|DF||Teigen Allen||12 February 1994||40||0||Melbourne Victory||2019 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|DF||Gema Simon||19 July 1990||11||0||Newcastle Jets||2019 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|DF||Laura Alleway||28 November 1989||60||2||Melbourne Victory||2019 FIFA Women's World Cup INJ|
|DF||Elizabeth Ralston||16 May 1995||0||0||Sydney FC||v. United States, 4 April 2019|
|MF||Elise Kellond-Knight||10 August 1990||109||2||Brisbane Roar||v. Chile, 9 November 2019 INJ|
|MF||Rachel Lowe||19 November 2000||1||0||UCLA Bruins||Training camp, 1-9 October 2019|
|MF||Alex Chidiac||15 January 1999||17||1||Atlético Madrid||Training camp, 1-9 October 2019 INJ|
|MF||Teresa Polias||16 May 1990||11||0||Sydney FC||2019 Cup of Nations|
|FW||Kyah Simon||25 June 1991||87||24||Melbourne City||Training camp, 1-9 October 2019|
|FW||Kyra Cooney-Cross||15 February 2002||0||0||Western Sydney Wanderers||Training camp, 1-9 October 2019|
|FW||Jacynta Galabadaarachchi||6 June 2001||0||0||West Ham United||Training camp, 1-9 October 2019|
|FW||Lisa De Vanna||14 November 1984||150||47||Fiorentina||2019 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|FW||Mary Fowler||14 February 2003||4||0||Adelaide United||2019 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|FW||Princess Ibini||31 January 2000||6||0||Sydney FC||2019 Cup of Nations|
|FW||Allira Toby||15 August 1994||0||0||Brisbane Roar||2019 Cup of Nations TOP|
|Head coach||Ante Milicic|
|Assistant coach||Melissa Andreatta|
|Assistant coach||Ivan Jolic|
|Goalkeeping coach||John Gorza|
|1975 to 1999||Australia women's national soccer team results (1975-99)|
|2000 to 2009||Australia women's national soccer team results (2000-09)|
|2010 onwards||Australia women's national soccer team results (2010-19)|
|FIFA Women's World Cup record|
|1991||Did not qualify|
|Olympic Games record|
|1996||Did not qualify|
|2008||Did not qualify|
|2020||To be determined|
|OFC Women's Championship record|
|AFC Women's Asian Cup record|
|AFF Women's Championship record|
|2004||Did not participate|
|2011||Did not participate|
|2013-present||See Australia women's national under-20 soccer team|
|2||Lisa De Vanna||2004-||150||47|
|8||Emily van Egmond||2010-||92||18|
|1||Lisa De Vanna||2004-||47||150|
|13||Emily Van Egmond||2010-||18||92|