Australia women's national soccer team

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"Australia women's national football team" redirects here. For the team that plays Australian rules/Gaelic football, see Australia women's international rules football team.
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Matildas
Association Football Federation Australia
Sub-confederation AFF (South-East Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Alen Stajcic
Captain Lisa De Vanna
Clare Polkinghorne
Most caps Cheryl Salisbury (151)
Top scorer Kate Gill (41)
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 9 Steady (25 September 2015)
Highest 8 (August 2013)
Lowest 16 (October 2006)
First international
 Australia 2–2 New Zealand 
Sutherland, Australia; 6 October 1979
Biggest win
 Australia 21–0 American Samoa 
Auckland, New Zealand; 9 October 1998
Biggest defeat
 United States 9–1 Australia 
Ambler, United States; 5 June 1997
World Cup
Appearances 6 (First in 1995)
Best result Quarterfinal (2007, 2011, 2015)
Oceania Cup
Appearances 7 (First in 1983)
Best result Winners (1995, 1998, 2003)
Asian Cup
Appearances 6 (First in 1975)
Best result Winners (2010)

The Australian women's national soccer team represents Australia in international women's soccer. The team is controlled 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 song Waltzing Matilda), having been known as the Female Socceroos before 1995.[1] The current team manager is Alen Stajcic.

Australia is a three-time OFC champion, one-time AFC champion and one-time AFF champion. The team has represented Australia at the FIFA Women's World Cup on five occasions and at the Olympics Games on two, although has won neither tournament. Immediately following the 2015 World Cup, Australia was ranked ninth in the world by FIFA.[2]


Matildas before a game against Italy in 2009

The Australian Women's Soccer Association (AWSA) was founded in 1974[3] and a representative Australian team competed at the following year's Asian Women's Championship.[4] 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.[5] Australia played against club teams at the tournament and none of the players' appearances counted as official caps.[6] 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).[7]

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 Monteith (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.[8]

The 1980s[edit]

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.[9][10]

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.[11] Hosting the 1989 Oceania Cup, the Australians finished third.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

The 1990s[edit]

Between 1991 and 1994, the Matildas played internationally during a tour of Russia in 1994.[citation needed] The Oceania tournament in 1995 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.[10]

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.[12]

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.[citation needed] During the team's second match, a 4–2 loss to China, Angela Iannotta scored Australia's first goal at a World Cup.[citation needed] In the final group match against cup holders the United States, Australia scored first but went on to lose 4–1.[citation needed]

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.[10] To promote themselves and raise funds for the team, in 1999 the Matildas posed nude for a calendar, which sold over 40,000 units. [12]

The 2000s[edit]

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.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] The Matildas won their first Olympic game ever against Greece, and managed to qualify for the quarterfinals,[15] losing to Sweden 2-1.[16]

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.

2007 World Cup[edit]

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,[17] 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.

2008 tournaments[edit]

The Matildas failed to get through qualifiers for the 2008 Olympics held in 2007, where they lost to Korea DPR both home and away in the final round.

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 lgain losing, leaving the Matildas in fourth place.

The 2010s[edit]

External video
Aussies Abroad: The Matildas (ESPN) retrieved 12/18/2013

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 Samantha Kerr). The title gave the Matildas a berth at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20]

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Head coach Australia Alen Stajcic
Assistant coach Australia Gary van Egmond
Goalkeeping coach Australia Paul Jones


Current squad[edit]

The following 20 players were named for the friendly against  South Korea on 29 November 2015.[21] Caps and goals correct as of 27 October 2015.

Head coach: Alen Stajcic

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Williams, LydiaLydia Williams (1988-05-13) 13 May 1988 (age 27) 48 0 Australia Canberra United
1GK Arnold, MackenzieMackenzie Arnold (1994-02-25) 25 February 1994 (age 21) 7 0 Australia Perth Glory
2DF Polkinghorne, ClareClare Polkinghorne (Co-captain) (1989-02-01) 1 February 1989 (age 26) 80 5 Australia Brisbane Roar
2DF Kellond-Knight, EliseElise Kellond-Knight (1990-08-10) 10 August 1990 (age 25) 64 1 Germany 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam
2DF Catley, StephSteph Catley (1994-01-26) 26 January 1994 (age 21) 41 2 Australia Melbourne City
2DF Alleway, LauraLaura Alleway (1989-11-28) 28 November 1989 (age 26) 38 2 Australia Melbourne City
3MF Butt, TamekaTameka Butt (1991-06-16) 16 June 1991 (age 24) 51 7 Australia Brisbane Roar
3MF van Egmond, EmilyEmily van Egmond (1993-07-12) 12 July 1993 (age 22) 46 11 Germany 1. FFC Frankfurt
3MF Gorry, KatrinaKatrina Gorry (1992-08-13) 13 August 1992 (age 23) 37 11 Australia Brisbane Roar
3MF Kennedy, AlannaAlanna Kennedy (1995-01-21) 21 January 1995 (age 20) 36 0 Australia Sydney FC
3MF Yeoman-Dale, GeorgiaGeorgia Yeoman-Dale (1994-02-24) 24 February 1994 (age 21) 4 0 Australia Newcastle Jets
3MF Harrison, AmyAmy Harrison (1996-04-21) 21 April 1996 (age 19) 2 0 Australia Sydney FC
3MF Logarzo, ChloeChloe Logarzo (1994-12-22) 22 December 1994 (age 20) 2 0 Australia Newcastle Jets
4FW De Vanna, LisaLisa De Vanna (Co-captain) (1984-11-14) 14 November 1984 (age 31) 105 37 Australia Melbourne City
4FW Simon, KyahKyah Simon (1991-06-25) 25 June 1991 (age 24) 57 14 Australia Sydney FC
4FW Munoz, CaitlinCaitlin Munoz (1983-10-04) 4 October 1983 (age 32) 56 13 Australia Canberra United
4FW Heyman, MichelleMichelle Heyman (1988-07-04) 4 July 1988 (age 27) 41 15 Australia Canberra United
4FW Foord, CaitlinCaitlin Foord (1994-11-11) 11 November 1994 (age 21) 37 5 Australia Perth Glory
4FW Crummer, LarissaLarissa Crummer (1996-01-10) 10 January 1996 (age 19) 8 1 Australia Melbourne City
4FW Andrews, TaraTara Andrews (1994-03-13) 13 March 1994 (age 21) 1 0 Australia Newcastle Jets

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have also been called up to the Australia squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Dumont, CaseyCasey Dumont (1992-01-25) 25 January 1992 (age 23) 1 0 Unattached AIS training camp, 12 November 2015
GK Barbieri, MelissaMelissa Barbieri RET (1980-01-20) 20 January 1980 (age 35) 86 0 Australia Melbourne Victory 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup
GK Davey, BriannaBrianna Davey (1995-01-13) 13 January 1995 (age 20) 17 0 Australia Melbourne City v.  Scotland, 9 April 2015
DF Polias, TeresaTeresa Polias (1990-05-16) 16 May 1990 (age 25) 10 0 Australia Sydney FC AIS training camp, 12 November 2015
DF Brush, EllieEllie Brush (1988-08-19) 19 August 1988 (age 27) 2 0 Australia Canberra United AIS training camp, 12 November 2015
DF Carpenter, EllieEllie Carpenter (2000-04-28) 28 April 2000 (age 15) 0 0 Australia Western Sydney Wanderers AIS training camp, 12 November 2015
DF Cooper, CaitlinCaitlin Cooper (1988-02-12) 12 February 1988 (age 27) 3 1 Australia Western Sydney Wanderers 2015 Dewellbon Cup
DF Uzunlar, ServetServet Uzunlar (1989-03-08) 8 March 1989 (age 26) 48 2 Unattached 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup
DF Allen, TeigenTeigen Allen (1994-02-12) 12 February 1994 (age 21) 37 0 Australia Sydney FC v.  Scotland, 9 April 2015
DF Simon, GemaGema Simon (1990-07-19) 19 July 1990 (age 25) 3 0 Australia Newcastle Jets v.  Scotland, 9 April 2015
DF Brogan, DanielleDanielle Brogan (1988-06-28) 28 June 1988 (age 27) 7 0 Australia Perth Glory v.  New Zealand, 12 February 2015
DF Carroll, KimKim Carroll (1987-09-02) 2 September 1987 (age 28) 54 2 Australia Perth Glory v.  New Zealand, 12 February 2015
MF Raso, HayleyHayley Raso (1994-09-05) 5 September 1994 (age 21) 14 1 Australia Melbourne Victory 2015 Dewellbon Cup
MF Bolger, NicolaNicola Bolger (1993-03-03) 3 March 1993 (age 22) 6 0 Australia Sydney FC AIS training camp, 4 October 2015
MF Luik, AiviAivi Luik (1985-03-18) 18 March 1985 (age 30) 16 0 Australia Melbourne City v.  Scotland, 9 April 2015
MF McCallum, ColletteCollette McCallum RET (1986-03-26) 26 March 1986 (age 29) 81 11 Retired v.  Scotland, 9 April 2015
MF Chidiac, AlexAlex Chidiac (1999-01-15) 15 January 1999 (age 16) 1 0 Australia Melbourne City v.  New Zealand, 12 February 2015
MF Crawford, HayleyHayley Crawford (1984-03-27) 27 March 1984 (age 31) 10 2 Australia Newcastle Jets v.  New Zealand, 12 February 2015
FW Kerr, SamanthaSamantha Kerr (1993-09-10) 10 September 1993 (age 22) 43 7 Australia Perth Glory AIS training camp, 12 November 2015
FW Khamis, LeenaLeena Khamis (1986-06-19) 19 June 1986 (age 29) 25 5 Australia Sydney FC AIS training camp, 12 November 2015
FW Sykes, AshleighAshleigh Sykes (1991-12-15) 15 December 1991 (age 23) 16 4 Australia Canberra United AIS training camp, 4 October 2015
FW Ibini, PrincessPrincess Ibini (2000-01-31) 31 January 2000 (age 15) 0 0 Australia Sydney FC AIS training camp, 4 October 2015
FW Gill, KateKate Gill (1984-12-10) 10 December 1984 (age 30) 86 41 Unattached v.  Scotland, 9 April 2015


  • RET = Retired from the national team


Recent results and fixtures[edit]

Historical results and fixtures[edit]

Years Article
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)
2015–2016 season Current Season

Competitive record[edit]

FIFA Women's World Cup[edit]

FIFA Women's World Cup record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
China 1991 Did not qualify
Sweden 1995 Group stage 12th 3 0 0 3 3 13
United States 1999 Group stage 11th 3 0 1 2 3 7
United States 2003 Group stage 13th 3 0 1 2 3 5
China 2007 Quarter-finals 6th 4 1 2 1 9 7
Germany 2011 Quarter-finals 8th 4 2 0 2 6 7
Canada 2015 Quarter-finals 7th 5 2 1 2 5 5
France 2019 To be determined
Total 6/7 0 titles 21 5 5 11 29 43

Olympic Games[edit]

Olympic Games record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
United States 1996 Did not qualify
Australia 2000 Group stage 7th 3 0 1 2 2 6
Greece 2004 Quarter-finals 5th 4 1 1 2 3 4
China 2008 Did not qualify
United Kingdom 2012
Brazil 2016 To be determined
Japan 2020
Total 2/5 0 titles 7 1 2 4 5 10

OFC Women's Championship[edit]

OFC Women's Championship record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
New Caledonia 1983 Runners-up 2nd 4 2 1 1 20 3
New Zealand 1986 Runners-up 2nd 4 2 0 2 4 6
Australia 1989 Third place 3rd 4 1 1 2 7 6
Australia 1991 Runners-up 2nd 4 3 0 1 21 1
Papua New Guinea 1995 Champions 1st 4 3 0 1 13 2
New Zealand 1998 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 49 1
Australia 2003 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 45 0
Total 7/7 3 titles 28 19 2 7 159 19

AFC Women's Asian Cup[edit]

AFC Women's Asian Cup record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
Hong Kong 1975 Third place 3rd 4 2 0 2 12 6
Australia 2006 Runners up 2nd 6 4 2 0 15 2
Vietnam 2008 Fourth place 4th 5 2 0 3 7 9
China 2010 Champions 1st 5 4 0 1 7 3
Vietnam 2014 Runners up 2nd 5 3 1 1 9 5
Total 5/5 1 title 25 15 3 7 50 25

AFF Women's Championship[edit]

AFF Women's Championship record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
Vietnam 2006 Did not participate
Myanmar 2007
Vietnam 2008 Champion 1st 5 5 0 0 21 1
Laos 2011 Did not participate
Vietnam 2012
2013–present See Australia women's national under-20 soccer team
Total 1/6 1 title 5 5 0 0 21 1


Winners (3): 1995, 1998, 2003
Runners-up (3): 1983, 1986, 1991
Winners: 2010
Runners-up: 2006, 2014

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Teams of the Decades - Women's 1990-1999". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking: Women's Ranking". FIFA. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Williams 2007, p. 165
  4. ^ Stokkermans, Karel; Cruickshank, Mark; Fadeyev, Sergey; Lewis, Tom; Garin, Erik (30 May 2013). "Asian Women's Championship". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Cruickshank, Mark (31 December 2009). "Women's World Invitation Tournament 1978". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Teams of the Decades - Women's 1979-1989". Football Federation Australia. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Dolan, Julie. "1978 - World Women's Invitational Tournament Taiwan". Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Williams 2007, p. 157
  9. ^ Garin, Eric (31 March 2011). "Oceania Cup (Women)". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c It's been a long road to recognition as Matildas face their shot at glory
  11. ^ Women's World Cup 2015: Remove the gender lens and back the Matildas
  12. ^ a b c Wilson, Caroline (11 September 2000). "A naked desire to win some credibility". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  13. ^ Waltzing a fine line
  14. ^ 2004 OFC Women's Olympic Qualifiers > Australia
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ "Women kick off World Cup campaign in style". Sydney Morning Herald. 13 September 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  18. ^ "Matildas win Asian Cup on penalties". Sydney Morning Herald. 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  19. ^ "Australia Vs Equatorial Guinea: Blatant Handball Missed By Referee". Sydney Morning Herald. 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  20. ^ [3]
  21. ^ "Westfield Matildas squad announced for Korea Republic match". Football Federation Australia. 22 November 2015. 


External links[edit]