It started with excitement and ended in exhaustion – after one of the most intense penalty shootouts football has ever seen – but the Matildas made it: they triumphed over France on Saturday night, ensuring a history-making Women’s World Cup semi-final clash on Wednesday.
And Australia’s first-ever World Cup semi-final will be against – who else – England. This year’s Ashes had plentiful drama (and lots of English moaning), but tomorrow night’s game feels like the pinnacle of these great old rivals’ 2023 battles: ecstatic host vs weary outsider, exuberant youth vs earned experience, latter stage newcomer vs European champion.
On the pitch, key battles will also play out, chief among them Sam Kerr against England goalkeeper Mary Earps, who, it’s fair to say, Kerr knows very well by this point: she’s powered an impressive nine goals past the Manchester United player for both Chelsea and Australia in less than three years. There’s a reason an entire country has been clamouring for Kerr’s return from injury.
But even with a depleted squad (the talented Lauren James is suspended after her stamp on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie), and a potentially frightened goalkeeper between the sticks, England still represent an imposing prospect for the Matildas. Head coach Sarina Wiegman has her team well organised, and they’d surely love nothing more than to secure their first World Cup final at the expense of a massive rival.
Below, you can find out everything you need to know about Matildas v England. And just remember: PM Anthony Albanese hasn’t ruled out the prospect of a public holiday if the Matildas win the whole thing.
When is it on?
The semi-final kicks off at 8pm AEST on Wednesday, August 16th at Sydney’s Stadium Australia. If you’re in South Australia and NT, that will mean a 7:30pm kick-off time, 6pm if you’re in Western Australia. The game should finish around 10pm AEST but could stretch longer if it goes to another penalty shootout.
Where can I watch it?
If you don’t have a prized ticket to the big game, you still have plenty of other options to watch the action unfold. Each of Australia’s host cities will be showing the game live at the official FIFA Fan Festivals: Tumbalong Park in Sydney, Fed Square in Melbourne, South Bank in Brisbane, Festival Plaza in Adelaide, and Forrest Place in Perth.
In Melbourne, AAMI Park will screen the game after so many fans turned up to Rod Laver Arena to watch the Matildas’ quarter-final clash against France. Elsewhere, Sydney Football Stadium and Western Sydney Stadium will also show the game.
@joeljking What a moment for #womeninsports. Can’t wait for #australiavsengland this Wednesday! #gomatildas #matildas #womensworldcup #soccer #football ♬ DO IT AGAIN – Official Song of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ – BENEE