Australia will face France in the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals, as they continue their pursuit of home glory. Despite a close call in the group stages, the Matildas have shown impressive resilience and determination to reach this stage of the tournament. Their 2-0 victory over Denmark in the last-16 was highlighted by standout performances from Caitlin Foord and Mary Fowler. Furthermore, the return of star striker and captain Sam Kerr provides an additional boost to the team, although her place in the starting line-up is not guaranteed due to Australia’s stellar performances in her absence.
On the other hand, France secured their spot in the quarter-finals with a convincing 4-0 win over Morocco. Les Bleues understand the pressure that the Australian team now faces, as they themselves were eliminated from their home World Cup at the quarter-final stage by the United States four years ago. This upcoming match is a rematch of a recent encounter, where Australia emerged victorious with a 1-0 win in a warm-up game just before the start of the World Cup.
The Australia vs France match will take place on Saturday, August 12 in Brisbane, Australia. It is scheduled to kick off at 8am UK time (BST). UK viewers can watch the game live on ITV 1 and ITV X, with coverage starting from 7:30am.
In terms of team news, Sam Kerr, who missed all three group games due to a calf injury, made her return against Denmark, playing the final 15 minutes of the match. Head coach Tony Gustavsson now faces the decision of whether to alter the winning line-up and reintroduce Kerr to the starting XI. Australia has found success with their counter-attacking 4-4-2 formation, with the partnership of Mary Fowler and Emily van Egmond up front, and the goal threat provided by Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso from the wings. However, the presence of Kerr, one of the top strikers in the world, adds significant competition for a starting spot against France.
For France, coach Herve Renard is unlikely to make any changes to the winning team following their 4-0 victory over Morocco. However, Vicki Becho made a strong impression coming off the bench and could be considered for a starting role. Kadidiatou Diani has been particularly impressive for France, contributing four goals and three assists, while forming a dangerous partnership with Eugenie Le Sommer, France’s record goalscorer.
Both teams have reached the quarter-finals by finishing first in their respective groups. Australia, winners of Group B, secured victories against Ireland (1-0), Canada (4-0), and Denmark (2-0), with their only loss coming against Nigeria (2-3). France, winners of Group F, achieved results of a draw against Jamaica (0-0), victories over Brazil (2-1), Panama (6-3), and Morocco (4-0).
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