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Women's World Cup: Australia Women's Team Profile

Although they have been regulars at the Women's World Cup since 1995, Australia are yet to make a major impression in the tournament, but they will be hoping they can put that right on home soil this year.

Australia are set to co-host the 2023 Women's World Cup with New Zealand and will benefit from playing all three of their group matches on their own patch. They take on the Republic of Ireland, Nigeria and Canada in Group B. 
 

Australia's World Cup record:

The Matildas crashed out in the group stage in each of their first three Women's World Cups in 1995, 1999 and 2003 and did not win their first match at the tournament until 2007 in China, where they beat Ghana 4-1 in the group stage.

That year Australia went on to make the quarter-finals, exiting at the same stage in both the 2011 and 2015 tournaments.

At the most recent Women's World Cup in France four years ago, Australia again reached the knockout stage but were dumped out in the last 16 by Norway, who beat them on penalties.

Australia have played 26 matches at the Women's World Cup overall, winning seven, drawing six and losing 13.
 

How Australia qualified:

As tournament co-hosts with New Zealand, Australia qualified automatically for this year's Women's World Cup and are preparing for their eighth appearance at the finals.

But in the interim they have kept themselves warm with a batch of internationals, having competed in and won the 2023 Cup of Nations in February, defeating Czech Republic, Spain and Jamaica to secure the title.

They also scheduled a couple of friendlies in April, losing 1-0 to Scotland in Wimbledon before becoming the first team to defeat England under Sarina Wiegman with a 2-0 victory at Brentford's Gtech Community Stadium. 
 

The Manager - Tony Gustavsson:

A former teacher, Swede Tony Gustavsson does not have the most glittering managerial career behind him but he has nonetheless been tasked with leading Australia into their first Women's World Cup as co-hosts.

The 49-year-old began his coaching career in men's football, first managing Degerfors and then taking charge of Hammarby in 2006.

But Gustavsson would last only three years in the role before the club were relegated from the top flight and he was sacked in 2009.

It was at women's side Tyreso where Gustavsson enjoyed the most success, though, leading the club to their first Damallsvenskan title in 2012 and then taking them all the way to the Women's Champions League final in 2014.

As far as international management experience goes, Gustavsson's is limited, although he did have a stint as assistant manager to Pia Sundhage for the United States women's team and he was appointed as Australia women's boss in 2020.

It has not been plain sailing since in terms of results, but Gustavsson is a meticulous planner and knows the weight of the task in front of him.

Results this year have at least suggested the Matildas could be on the right track under his stewardship.
 

Confirmed Australia squad:

Australia are yet to confirm their squad for the Women's World Cup. Here are the 23 players selected for their friendly with England back in April…

Goalkeepers: Lydia Williams, Teagan Micah, Mackenzie Arnold, Jada Mathyssen-Whyman.

Defenders: Courtney Nevin, Aivi Luik, Clare Polkinghorne, Ellie Carpenter, Charlotte Grant, Clare Hunt, Matilda McNamara.

Midfielders: Tameka Yallop, Katrina Gorry, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Clare Wheeler, Alex Chidiac, Amy Sayer.

Forwards: Cortnee Vine, Mary Fowler, Hayley Raso, Sam Kerr, Larissa Crummer, Remy Siemsen.
 

Australia's Key Players: 

One player set for a big Women's World Cup is talismanic Australia striker and captain Sam Kerr.

With 120 caps and 63 goals to her name for her country, Kerr has evolved into one of the best forwards in world football and is a star of the Women's Super League with Chelsea.

Although not as prolific as in previous seasons, Kerr finished the 2022/23 WSL campaign with 12 goals and she is the definition of a big-game player, having once again scored the decisive goal in an FA Cup final for Chelsea against Manchester United in May.

A four-time WSL winner and former Women's Champions League runner-up with the Blues, Kerr was named WSL player of the season in 2021/22 and will likely be in the mix to be top scorer in Australia and New Zealand this year.

Midfielder Caitlin Foord is another WSL star to keep an eye on in this Matildas squad, having enjoyed a strong season at Arsenal, helping them to the League Cup and the semi-finals of the Women's Champions League.
 

Australia's Group Fixtures:

Group B

Australia vs Ireland, Sydney, 20th July 2023

Australia vs Nigeria, Brisbane, 27th July 2023

Canada vs Australia, Melbourne, 31st July 2023
 

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