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Our world-conquering Westfield Matildas are set to take on the might of China in a two-game international series exclusive to Victoria.
Minister for Sport John Eren and Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins joined Matildas coach Alen Stajcic and co-captain Lisa De Vanna today to announce that Victoria will host the first game at AAMI Park on 22 November, with the second match at Simonds Stadium in Geelong on 26 November.
When it comes to hosting the big football games, no one does it better than Victoria. We’ve seen the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi grace the MCG, while Fernando Torres and Atlético de Madrid took centre stage in Geelong.
Now we’re bringing the best in women’s football to our sport meccas of Melbourne and Geelong, as the newly-crowned Tournament of Nations champions take on the Chinese, who are led by goal magnet Han Peng.
The Matildas will be eager to continue their winning form after crowd favourite Sam Kerr put on a clinic in back-to-back wins against Brazil.
It’s also a chance for our large and proud Chinese community to get behind their national team, and encourage their friends and family back home to come and witness the action.
With more than half a million visitors from China spending more than $2.6 billion in Victoria last year, the series will further strengthen and celebrate our strong relationship.
International games like these bring more visitors to Victoria, create jobs, keep our economy strong and inspire the next generation of aspiring Matildas to join clubs and emulate their heroes.
The Andrews Labor Government helped secure this international series thanks to funding from the Regional Events Fund and the Significant Sporting Events Program, and support from the Melbourne Olympic Park and Kardinia Park Stadium Trusts, and City of Greater Geelong.
Quote attributable to Minister for Sport John Eren
“We’re giving more Victorians the chance to see a Matildas side that are in top form up against one of the powerhouses in Asia.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins
“We want to grow women’s football and create more opportunities for women in sport – bringing the Matildas to Melbourne and regional Victoria will do just that.”
Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
“This is why we’re turning Simonds Stadium into the best stadium in regional Australia, so we can host top level international sporting events like this in Geelong.”
Quote attributable to Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic
“China is a quality opposition and we have a long history of tough matches against them. I’m sure the players are once again looking forward to running out in front of a large and vocal Melbourne home crowd.”