Just over five years ago, a brave Australian men’s team played a red-hot Brazilian side in Munich, and should have come away with a result if it wasn’t for some poor finishing. Fast forward the tape to 2011, and on Tuesday night in Moenchengladbach, the Matildas had every opportunity to cause an upset against the South American heavyweights but failed to make the most of their chances.
Australia goes into the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup full of confidence, following their victory at last year’s AFC Asian Cup in China. As continental champions, there is now an expectation on the Matildas to not only reach the knockout stage, but to progress further in the tournament.
Australia coach Tom Sermanni leads the team to its fifth consecutive World Cup finals appearance, his third in charge, after achieving their best ever result in the 2007 tournament in China. On that occasion, the Matildas progressed to the knockout stage following draws against Canada and Norway, and a victory over Ghana, but were eventually beaten by Brazil in the quarter final stage.