Matildas vs Filipinas’ Olympic qualifier moved to Optus stadium
Riding on the wave of the Matilda’s World Cup success , the AFC Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Asian Qualifier clash between the Philippines (the Filipinas) and the Matildas has been moved to a larger venue due to the overwhelming demand from supporters. This exciting announcement came on Monday, setting the stage for a monumental showdown.
Originally scheduled to be held at the Perth Rectangular Stadium on October 29, this pivotal match will now unfold at Optus Stadium, boasting a seating capacity exceeding 60,000.
In Group A of the second round of qualifiers, the Philippines and the Matildas face off alongside fellow competitors, Chinese Taipei and Iran. While the other group matches will continue to grace the Perth Rectangular Stadium, with its capacity of over 20,000, the Philippines-Australia clash takes centre stage in a grander setting.
“Leading into and during the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, we have witnessed the enormous drawing power of the CommBank Matildas, with almost 450,000 supporters attending the team’s Send-Off Match and World Cup fixtures,” said Football Australia CEO James Johnson in a statement.
“The CommBank Matildas are one of the strongest sporting brands in the country, and it has become strongly evident that passionate support for this iconic team continues to grow and, for the second time in 12 months, because of the popularity of the CommBank Matildas, we need to relocate to a venue with a higher capacity to accommodate the demand,” he added.
The Matildas ascended to rock-star status in Australia during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Their increasing popularity is going from strength to strength hence the need to move matches to bigger stadiums to accommodate for the influx of passionate fans.
Meanwhile, the Filipinas are riding high on their historic World Cup debut, where they achieved a stunning upset against co-host New Zealand in Group A. Their journey to the second round of Olympic qualifiers began with an impressive sweep of Group E in the first round held in Tajikistan last April.
The Filipinas will commence their second-round campaign on October 26 against Chinese Taipei, followed by the highly anticipated clash against Australia on October 29 and a showdown with Iran on November 1.
In this fiercely competitive group, the top team secures advancement to the third round of qualifiers. Additionally, the best-performing runner-up will also progress. The third round is slated for February 2024.