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The greatest ever moments we’ve seen from the Matildas, named and ranked

Jayden Collins

| Last updated 

The greatest ever moments we’ve seen from the Matildas, named and ranked

The Women’s World Cup is just around the corner and is set to be the biggest event on Australian (and New Zealand) soil since the Olympics.

The tournament itself is one of the biggest achievements in the Matildas' history as a footballing powerhouse - more on that later.

There’s no doubt that the month-long footballing spectacle will provide some of the greatest moments in not only Australia’s football history but in the world.

Ahead of a tournament that will have minds and hearts captured, we’ve gone and ranked the 10 best Matildas moments of all time.


10. Matildas go undefeated in Olympic qualifiers on route to Rio (2016)

Credit: Sipa US / Alamy
Credit: Sipa US / Alamy

Australia proved they were ever the dominant team in the Asian coefficient in 2016 on route to qualifying for the Rio Olympics.

With stars like Emily Van Egmond, Lisa De Vanna, and Michelle Heyman in toe the Matildas dominated their six-team group with an almost perfect record.


Wins over powerhouses such as Japan and South Korea proved they could outperform anyone in the group, whilst a 9-0 victory over Vietnam showcased the firepower the squad had.

The never-say-die attitude of the team was on full display in the final game of qualifying, however, when they found themselves 1-0 down to China.

Desperate to cling on to that top spot and keep their undefeated streak, Van Egmond found the net in the 85th minute to ensure they went to Rio without a loss on their record.

9. First-ever international match against New Zealand (1979)

mjmediabox / Alamy
mjmediabox / Alamy

FIFA had no women’s football program at the time, however, Australians were keen to begin life as a national team as soon as possible.

The team was formed a year earlier, and they finally found their first opposition in October 1979.

They took on New Zealand at Seymour Shaw Park in Sydney in a game that finished 2-2.


They were led by women’s pioneer Julie Dolan AM, who was just 18 at the time and was bestowed the honour of cap number one for Australia.

She would go on to become the name that every Aussie woman footballer aims to emulate, with the Australian Player of the Year award named after her.

8. Matildas stage miraculous comeback against Brazil (2019)

Credit: Associated Press / Alamy
Credit: Associated Press / Alamy

The Matildas were under a huge amount of pressure heading into their second group game of France 2019.

They had been handed a shock loss by Italy in the opening game of the tournament and were now coming up against one of the best teams in the world.

It seemed some of the pressure had gotten to the side as they found themselves 2-0 down after goals from Marta and Christiane.

As the game was heading into halftime, Caitlin Foord gave those watching in the stands and at home a glimmer of hope after bundling the ball over the line for her first-ever World Cup goal.

Chloe Logarzo drew level in the 57th minute - as fans could tell they were on the verge of greatness.

Less than 10 minutes later Sam Kerr had provided the pressure as Brazilian defender Monica headed the ball into her own goal. The goal stood after a lengthy VAR delay.

The Aussies showed guts in the final moments of the game to hold onto the 3-2 win and hand the team perhaps their greatest World Cup win of all time.

7. Australia claim their first ever World Cup knockout victory (2015)

Credit: Associated Press / Alamy
Credit: Associated Press / Alamy

Australia were no strangers to the World Cup quarter-final, having qualified twice previously.

However, 2015 saw an expanded version of the tournament and thus, the Matildas would have to win their first knockout game to once again make the final eight.

Of course, their opponents were Brazil - a team who they had developed a brilliant rivalry within international football.

It was a tense affair that came down to the 80th minute when Lisa De Vanna found herself one on one with the Brazilian keeper who managed to parry her shot.

However, it was straight into the path of the oncoming Kyah Simon who calmly volley the ball home - the celebrations were anything but calm back home.

It was the first time an Australian national team, male or female, had won a knockout game at the World Cup.

6. Matildas break home record attendance against United States (2021)

Credit: Speed Media / Alamy
Credit: Speed Media / Alamy

The final matches of the 2021 calendar year capitalised on the surging popularity of the Tillies in Australia.

Football fans of all ages had fallen in love with the Matildas who encapsulated everything people loved about Australian athletes - passion, determination, and a never give up attitude.

They went up against the United States following the 2020 Olympic Games in a friendly match played on November 27.

The game was played in Stadium Australia, Sydney and broke the all-time Matildas home attendance that had been set back in 2000.

36,109 spectators filled the stadium to see Australia take on the United States in a mammoth crowd.

Just three days later they played America again in Newcastle in front of 20,495 spectators, a record for the city.

We’d hazard a guess that that record will again be broken come the 2023 World Cup.

5. Sam Kerr becomes the all-time leading Australian goalscorer (2022)

Credit: Associated Press / Alamy
Credit: Associated Press / Alamy

Sam Kerr transcends the sport of football - she’s one of the most known faces in the country.

She’s also arguably the best women’s footballer on the planet, and we’re lucky enough to call her our own.

In the opening game of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in January, the Matildas would defeat Indonesia by a mammoth 18 goals to nil.

Within that game, the legendary number 20 would net five goals making her the all-time Australian international goalscorer across male and female teams.

She would surpass Tim Cahill and net her 50th goal, etching her name in the history books in the process.

4. Matildas break women’s sport TV viewing records in Olympic semi-final (2020)

Credit: Associated Press / Alamy
Credit: Associated Press / Alamy

Australia proved once again to be trailblazers for women’s sport on their run to the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics.

The Matildas finished third in their group and qualified in the knockout stages for the delayed Olympic Games in 2021.

The tournament was defined by wins over arch-rivals New Zealand and a 4-3 win against Great Britain in extra time.

Australia were 2-1 down heading into the 89th minute before captain fantastic Sam Kerr equalised to take things past 90 minutes.

Mary Fowler would score and Kerr would grab her second as the game finished 4-3.

The nature of the win and seeing their Aussie side advance to the semi-finals of the tournament captured the hearts of everyone back home.

Their semi-final matchup against Sweden drew 2.32 million viewers back home in Australia's women’s sport record for the nation.

They would, unfortunately, lose 1-0 to the European side, before losing to the United States in a bronze medal match.

But undoubtedly they had won over every football fan back home.

3. Australia dominate and claim Tournament of Nations (2017)

Credit: Zuma Press, Inc. / Alamy
Credit: Zuma Press, Inc. / Alamy

The Matildas weren’t underdogs by any means heading into the Tournament of Nations.

However, they were going up against the likes of world number-one United States, Asian champions Japan, and their ever-constant rivals Brazil.

But nothing is too big a task for the Aussies.

The nature in which they went about the tournament further proved why the Matildas are considered one of Australia’s best sporting teams.

They opened the competition with a 1-0 win over United States, the first time they had beaten them in 27 attempts.

Next up, saw a hat-trick from Sam Kerr (who else) against Japan to win 4-2.

But they saved the best for last, with an absolute smashing of Brazil with a 6-1 win to ensure they claimed top spot in the tournament.

2. Women’s World Cup to be held on home soil (2023)

Credit: FUFA61 / Alamy
Credit: FUFA61 / Alamy

This one is yet to happen, but we are oh-so-close.

It should be considered one of the Matildas’ greatest achievements before the first game has even kicked off.

The growing popularity of the Australian women’s team and the New Zealanders have allowed for the biggest tournament in football to grace our shores.

It’s a testament to just how big the Tillies are in the eyes of everyone at home.

The tournament is set to be the biggest sporting event in Australia or New Zealand since the Olympics and already deserves to be number two on our list.

1.Matildas take home the Asian Cup (2010)

Credit: Associated Press / Alamy
Credit: Associated Press / Alamy

You can’t look past silverware when it comes to the greatest achievements - and this is definitely their greatest accolade yet.

They had become the champions of Oceania in years past and it was time to conquer yet another continental football competition.

Australia found themselves in muggy conditions in China, however, they managed to go on a convincing run to the final.

Their only hiccup was a 1-0 loss to China in the closing game of Group B, however, they went on to defeat Japan in the semi-finals.

They went up against North Korea in the final, with the decider coming down to a penalty shootout.

Kyah Simon stepped up to score the decisive penalty - and the Matildas were champions.

Featured Image Credit: UK Sports Pics Ltd / Alamy. CommBank Matildas/Facebook.

Topics: Australia, Womens World Cup, Football

Jayden Collins
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