CANBERRA, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Australia’s national women’s soccer team will face France in their final match before the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Football Australia (FA) announced on Tuesday that the Matildas will face fifth-ranked Les Bleues in Melbourne on July 14 in a “relegation match” six days before they open their World Cup campaign.
It will mark the first time in 22 years that the French national team has played in Australia, meaning the Matildas will have played nine of the world’s current top-10 teams in the lead-up to the home World Cup.
“Having a ‘relegation game’ against a team of France’s caliber in a special city like Melbourne offers a wonderful opportunity for us to get early attention to the importance of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup,” head coach Tony Gustavsson said in a press release. a media release.
“A dynamic, technically brilliant team over the years, France have consistently been one of the best nations in the world with incredible quality in all areas of their game. It will be a final challenge for us just days after our World Cup debut.”
France were beaten by eventual champions USA in the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup and reached the semi-finals of Euro 2022.
However, captain Wendie Renard has announced that she will not play for Les Bleues due to tensions with the head coach, Corinne Diacre, and the French Football Federation (FFF).
The Matildas’ last game in Melbourne was a 4-0 win against Olympic silver medalists Sweden – the most significant win under Gustavsson.
After the match against France, the Matildas play their opening World Cup match against Ireland in Sydney on July 20.