Similarly to the men’s team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Australian Women’s National Football Team has been drawn in the ‘Pool of Death’ for this year’s Women’s World Cup in Canada; pegged alongside current World champs the USA, in-form European giants Sweden and Nigeria in Group D.
Despite the difficult draw, the Matildas are full of confidence heading into their first match with the USA on June 8th and carry good form into the 2015 Women’s World Cup following an impressive warm-up tour of Europe in March and April.
Thrilled with the four wins posted over eight matches by his team on their Road to the World Cup, Coach Alen Stajcic told the Sydney Morning Herald he believes a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Scotland in their most recent fixture will translate into a successful tilt at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
“The first half in particular was sensational. We kept possession and played our style of attacking football, creating so many chances,” Stajcic said.
“All things we’d been working on at training, so it was great to see it come off in a game against decent opposition.
“We’ve got a lot of variety in our attack and a lot of pace. Having good attacking fullbacks, good movement and pace up front makes us a really strong attacking force.
“We were really conscious of the need to improve the culture … really create that family atmosphere and I think we went a long way down the track.
“It all comes back down to what we want to achieve.”
Now within a month of their first 2015 Women’s World Cup match, Stajcic said he is hopeful the Matildas will be able to play a couple of final tune-up fixtures at home before making the trip to Canada.
“We’re trying to negotiate a farewell match with a couple of countries now before we leave,” he added.
“That’s in the pipeline and hopefully we can nail it down.”
Following their campaign opener with the USA, the Matildas will be confident of success over Nigeria on June 12th before facing Sweden, the team which ended their 2011 World Cup dream with a 3-1 quarterfinal win, on the 16th.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Women’s World Cup odds, for which Australia can be taken at a particularly generous quote of $41 to claim a maiden title.
The USA remain outright $3.50 favourites ahead of Germany ($4.50), Brazil ($6.50) and 2011 champions Japan ($9).