Women's World Cup - Round of 16

Allianz Riviera, Nice

Saturday June 22, 9pm local - Sunday June 23, 5am AEST


After flirting with a third-place finish during another dramatic group stage match with Jamaica, the Matildas landed in second and face Norway. Four goals to Sam Kerr underlined Australia's attacking potency and Ante Milicic will be looking to get forward as much as possible against Norway. Australia can battle to find rhythm over the course of a match and have seen defensive frailties exposed, but the fact remains that they are one of the best offensive nations in the world.

Coach: Ante Milicic

Captain: Sam Kerr

Ranking: 6

Best World Cup finish: Quarter-finals (2007, 2011, 2015)

Key player: Caitlin Foord. The obvious answer here is Kerr, but against well-drilled European opposition, the Matildas captain will need help. Foord, Hayley Raso and Chloe Logarzo must chip in.

How they qualified: Second in Group C. A last-minute 2-1 loss to Italy was followed up by the Miracle of Montpeller - a 3-2 win over Brazil - and a 4-1 defeat of Jamaica.

Key selection issues: Should Chloe Logarzo stomach playing through the pain of her corked back, Milicic could have all his troops available. Tameka Yallop (calf) and Clare Polkinghorne (hamstring) should be ready and available. Does he recall Polkinghorne as centre-back, shift Steph Catley wide and free up Elise Kellond-Knight to play in the midfield?


The former world champions weren't among the pre-tournament favourites, perhaps because of world player of the year Ada Hegerberg's absence, but have been very strong in France. Defeats of Nigeria and South Korea helped them through the group stage and Sjogren's side were valiant in a tight loss to the hosts. Seen as a well-drilled and defence-first side, the Matildas will need to work hard and get their thinking caps on to unlock their defence.

Coach: Martin Sjogren

Captain: Maren Mjelde.

World ranking: 12

Best World Cup finish: Winners (1995)

Key player: Maren Mjelde. The team captain and Chelsea defender is the most capped player in the squad and marshals the defence. She'll spend much of her night minding Kerr and how she does could make the difference.

How they qualified: Second in Group A. Like Australia, Norway took two wins from the group stage. An impressive 3-0 defeat of Nigeria was followed up by a VAR-inspired 2-1 loss to France and a 2-1 rebound win over South Korea.

Key selection issues: With Caroline Graham Hansen likely to miss with an ankle issue, could Sjogren turn to a familiar face? Elise Thorsnes - a friend of Chloe Logarzo and one-time Canberra United player - could get her first start of the tournament to help a stuttering attack. Norway's last four goals have all been penalties or own goals.


The 36,178-capacity Allianz Riviera, referred to as the Stade de Nice for the tournament due to FIFA's sponsorship restrictions, is a wonderful modern stadium just inland from the coast. Built in time for France's hosting of Euro 2016, it also hosts local football side OGC Nice and rugby club Toulon. Norway have already played in the venue at the World Cup, losing 2-1 to France.


Played: 6. Australia wins: 2, Norway wins: 3, Draws: 1

Last meeting: Australia 4-3 Norway, 2018 Algarve Cup.

Norway might edge the head-to-head record but Australia's three losses all happened more than 20 years ago. The Matildas knocked Norway out of the 2011 tournament with a 2-1 win in a do-or-die group stage match. Larissa Crummer scored a 95th-minute winner in their last meeting at a friendly tournament in Portugal last year.