Matildas to host a bespoke ‘Cup of Nations’ in 2019
Australia to host mini-tournament in February / March19 December 2018 | FT Editor
Australia is taking a leaf out of US Soccer's book and creating their own mini-tournament, to be known as the 'Cup of Nations' as part of the preparation for the Matildas for next year's World Cup, with Argentina, New Zealand and South Korea also taking part.
The four-nation tournament will comprise three double-headers over three match days in each of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne from 28 February to 6 March.
Australia, ranked number 6 in the world, will go into the tournament as favourites ahead of South Korea (14), New Zealand (19) and Argentina (36).
At the same time, the USA - who also hosts the 'Tournament of Nations' in non World Cup years - is hosting the 'She Believes Cup' in Chester (Pennsylvania), Nashville and Tampa, with Brazil, England and Japan taking part.
The tournament will kick-off at Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah on Thursday 28 February with Argentina playing Korea Republic followed by the Matildas against New Zealand.
The match between Australia and New Zealand will also mark the 40-year anniversary of the Matildas' first 'A' international, which was against New Zealand a few kilometres away in Sutherland in 1979.
Three days later, Argentina meets New Zealand at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, followed by Australia and South Korea.
The final round of fixtures in Melbourne see South Korea play New Zealand followed by Australia against Argentina.
Matildas coach, Alen Stajcic, said the tournament is an important part of the team's preparation for the World Cup which also includes a match v USA in Colorado on 4 April.
Australian officials will present the tournament as part of its case to host the 2023 World Cup.
Tickets for all matches are on sale to the 'football family' now and to the general public from Thursday.
2019 Cup of Nations – Match Schedule
Date: Thursday 28 February 2019
Venue: Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah (Sydney)
Match One: Argentina v Korea Republic – 4.35pm kick-off (AEDT)
Match Two: Australia v New Zealand – 7.30pm kick-off (AEDT)
Date: Sunday 3 March 2019
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Match One: Argentina v New Zealand – 3.05pm kick-off (AEST); 4.05pm (AEDT)
Match Two: Australia v Korea Republic – 6.00pm kick-off (AEST); 7.00pm (AEDT)
Date: Wednesday 6 March 2019
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Match One: Korea Republic v New Zealand – 3.05pm kick-off (AEDT)
Match Two: Australia v Argentina – 6.00pm kick-off (AEDT)
matildas, australia, new zealand, argentina, south korea