For those excited for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, the Matildas are just 50 days away from their opening match.
Unlike other football tournaments, the Olympics encompasses both a men and a women’s tournament simultaneously.
The sixteen qualified men’s teams are distributed into four groups, A through D, and the twelve qualified women’s teams are distributed into three groups, E through G.
The Matildas qualified in 2020 after they won their play-off round against Vietnam. They were drawn in Group G earlier this year.
Group G has since been nicknamed the group of death. The FIFA ranked ninth-placed Matildas will face the first ranked Americans, fifth-ranked Swedish and twenty-second ranked Kiwis.
Their opening match will be against New Zealand at 21:30 AEST (20:30 JST) on the 21 of July. This match takes place two days before the opening ceremony.
The Matildas’ second group match will occur on the 24th of July against Sweden at 18:30 AEST (17:30 JST). The final group match will occur on the 27th of July at 18:00 AEST (17:00 JST).
As the Olympic women’s tournament contains only twelve teams placed into three groups not only do the top two teams in each group progress to the knockout quarter-final stage but so do the top two ranked third-placed teams.
Facing such formidable opponents, this third-ranked place could be the saving grace for the Matildas.
All quarter-final matches will take place on the 30th of July.
The semi-final will occur on the 2nd of August. The bronze medal match will be held on the 5th of August with the gold medal match occurring the next day on the 6th of August.
The Matildas have qualified for four of the seven Olympic Games which held the women’s football tournament. The highest they finished was in 5th place in 2004.
Here is a full list of the squad (five still to be cut)
Goalkeepers: Mackenzie ARNOLD (West Ham), Tegan Micah (IL Sandviken), Lydia WILLIAMS (Arsenal)
Defenders: Laura BROCK (Guingamp), Ellie CARPENTER (Olympique Lyonnais), Steph CATLEY (Arsenal), Caitlin COOPER (Western Sydney Wanderers), Beattie Goad (SV Meppen), Charlotte Grant (FC Rosengard), Alanna KENNEDY (Unattached), Courtney Nevin (Western Sydney Wanderers), Clare Polkinhorne (Vittsjo), Emily van Edmond (Unattached)
Midfielders: Alex CHIDIAC (Melbourne City), Kyra Cooney-Cross (Melbourne Victory), Amy Harrison (PSV Eindhoven), Elise Kellond-Knight ( Hammarby), Aivi Luik (Sevilla), Tameka YALLOP (West Ham)
Forward: Caitlin FOORD (Arsenal), Mary FOWLER (Montpellier), Emily Gielnik (Vittsjo), Sam KERR (Chelsea), Hayley RASO (Everton, Kyah SIMON (PSV Eindhoven).
Here is a link for a printable full tournament schedule.
Times are in Japanese Standard Time, one hour behind AEST.