2023 has been a good time to be a Matilda and the momentum that they’ve built so far has only continued to grow with their recent victories. After finishing fourth in the FIFA Women’s World Cup earlier this year, the team already have their sights set on Olympics domination.
Qualifying rounds have begun for the 2024 Paris Olympics and the Matildas are already going for gold. Last week, they defeated the Iranian team 2 – 0 in their first qualifying match. On Sunday night, in front of a sellout crowd of 59,155 at Optus Stadium in Perth, the Matildas made quite the statement by absolutely dominating the Philippines team.
Hat tricks by Caitlin Foord and Samantha Kerr were supported by goals from Mary Fowler and Clare Wheeler, putting the score to 8 – 0 by full-time.
It was Fowler who opened scoring for the match, using a clever deflection from Foord to hit a pinpoint finish at the 15th minute. Kerr scored her first goal soon after at the 19th minute.
Foord then managed to score two points in the first half at the 30th and 33rd minutes, bring the score up to 4 – 0 before half-time had even sounded.
Not to be outdone, Kerr scored another goal at the stroke of half-time after going head to head against the goalkeeper bringing the score up to 5 – 0.
Less than minute into the second half, Kerr scored her hat trick with another goal from close range, further widening the gap between the Matildas and the opposition. Ten minutes later, at the 56th minute, Foord secured her hat trick after cleverly evading the opposition.
The Matildas weren’t done yet however. Substitute Clare Wheeler scored her first international goal at the 72nd minute, capping off the score at an impressive 8 – 0.
The only hiccup for the Matildas occurred when substitute Cortnee Vine had to come off field after a hamstring injury at the 75th minute of the game.
After the match, Kerr agreed that the match was definitely an occasion where everything went right for the team.
“Yeah I think so, but we’ve been training at this all week and the first game we had a few things to work on but I think everyone just came out here and gave 100 per cent, we worked our butts off today, that’s for sure,” she said.
The result has thrust the Matildas to the top of qualifiers, all they need is a draw against the Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) on Wednesday to guarantee progression to the final stage of qualification in February.