Matildas ready for landmark match

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Alen Stajcic, Emma Husar, Kyah Simon, John Thain and Mark Falvo at the recent Matildas announcement. Photo: Melinda Jane

The Matildas have assembled in Western Sydney today as they prepare to face Brazil in front of the biggest home crowd the Australian women’s football team has played in front of since the Sydney Olympics.

Around 17,000 fans will pack Pepper Stadium in Penrith on Saturday for the first of two international friendlies against football powerhouse Brazil, with a second match scheduled for Newcastle on Tuesday, September 19.

Penrith MP, NSW Minister for Western Sydney and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said it was a major coup for the NSW Government to have secured the international match for Penrith.

“The Matildas’ world-beating performance at the Tournament of Nations in August was inspirational and this series was always going to be the hottest ticket in town,” Mr Ayres said.

“Brazil will be out to avenge their 6-1 loss to the Aussies last month and I have no doubt Western Sydney and Hunter residents will get right behind the Matildas in what promises to be a fiercely competitive match.”

The two-match series was secured as part of a five-year partnership with Football Federation Australia that was announced in March 2016.

“The NSW Government’s five year partnership with Football Federation Australia is expected to contribute more than $20 million to the NSW visitor economy, with this huge show of support for the Matildas highlighting just how much Australians love their football,” said NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall.

“This series not only offers fans the chance to see two world-class teams go head-to-head, but also an opportunity for visitors to explore everything Western Sydney, Newcastle and the Hunter has to offer.”

A bumper crowd is also expected at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle next Tuesday.

Saturday’s match at Pepper Stadium is a sell-out.

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