Who do the Matildas play next? When is their game on? And what’s their path to the World Cup final? All your questions answered
- Aussies into quarters thanks to 2-0 win over Denmark
- No more easy games left at this stage of tournament
- Upsets ease path to possible World Cup glory
The Matildas recorded arguably the greatest victory in their history when they defeated Denmark 2-0 to book their berth in the World Cup quarter-finals on Monday night.
However, their path towards the semis will be a tough one despite the return of inspirational Sam Kerr from injury against the Danes.
England had big fright against Nigeria – winning their round-of-16 clash in a penalty shootout after losing superstar Lauren James to a red card – which proves there will be no easy games for the rest of the tournament, no matter how high one team is ranked above another.
Sam Kerr celebrates as the final whistle sounds in the win over Denmark. She finished the match unscathed and looks a sure thing to play in the team’s quarterfinal match
Who will the Matildas play next?
The Aussies will face the winner of Tuesday night’s match between France and Morocco, with Les Bleues outright favourites to emerge victorious at $1.15 compared to the Africans, who are paying $17 to cause a huge upset, according to betting agency BetRight.
Coach Tony Gustavsson’s side defeated France 1-0 courtesy of a Mary Fowler goal when the sides had a World Cup warm-up match just before the tournament began.
The French topped their group after smashing Panama 6-3, beating Brazile 2-1 and recording a nil-all draw with Jamaica in their first three matches.
They’re ranked fifth in the world, five places ahead of the Matildas.
In contrast, Morocco are rated the 72nd-best team on the planet by FIFA.
They kicked off their World Cup campaign with a disatrous 6-0 defeat to Germany, but recovered in sensational fashion to down South Korea 1-0, then defeat Colombia by the same margin.
On paper it seems almost certain that France will progress – but with heavyweights like the USA and Norway getting knocked out of the tournament, nothing is a sure bet.
Should the Matildas face France on Saturday afternoon, they’ll take some confidence from the fact they beat Les Bleues in a World Cup warm-up in July (pictured)
The Aussies’ other possible opponent, Morocco, might be ranked far below them but recent results prove no match is easy at this stage of the tournament (pictured, Moroccan stars Hanane Ait El Haj and Fatima Tagnaout celebrate their 1-0 win over Colombia)
When and where will the Matildas play next?
The side’s quarterfinal will begin at 5pm AEST on Saturday, August 12 at Suncorp Stadium – which has been renamed Brisbane Stadium for the duration of the World Cup.
The Matildas attracted a huge crowd when they played Nigeria at the ground on July 27, but it wasn’t a happy hunting ground for them as they went down 3-2 in a shock loss.
How is the side’s path to the World Cup final shaping up?
England stars Chloe Kelly (left) and Alex Greenwood let loose after Kelly’s penalty sealed a nail-biting round-of-16 win over Nigeria. The Lionesses shape as a possible semifinal opponent for the Matildas
Should Sam Kerr and her teammates progress to the semifinals, they’ll face whoever wins the game between England and either Jamaica or Colombia, who face off in their round-of-16 match on Tuesday night.
The Lionesses were in frightening form when they dismantled China 6-1 in their final group-stage match, but went backwards at a great rate as they failed to score against Nigeria before winning through thanks to a penalty shootout.
The other half of the draw features quarterfinal contests between the Netherlands and Spain, and Japan and Sweden.
Thanks to America’s shock loss to the Swedes in the round-of-16, combined with Germany and Norway tumbling out of the Cup, that side of the draw has opened right up in what should be a beneficial development for whoever makes it through to the final from Australia’s side of the tournament.