Australian women’s football head coach Alen Stajcic spoke of his determination to deliver the country’s first Olympic Games podium finish in football after Thursday’s draw for the Women’s Football Tournament at Rio 2016 pitted the Asian champions against Germany, Canada, and tournament debutants Zimbabwe in Group F of the 12-team competition.
With the top two sides from each group along with the two best third-ranked teams qualifying for the quarter finals, Stajcic is confident that the 2010 AFC Asian Cup champions – who booked their berth in Brazil with an undefeated record in the continental qualifiers in Osaka in March – can be amongst the medals as the Matildas embark on their third attempt at Olympic glory.
“It’s an exciting draw playing Canada first up and then another top ten team in Germany before facing Zimbabwe,” Stajcic said following Thursday’s draw at the iconic Maracana Stadium.
“It’s a very exciting group and we know that if we play to our potential we can be really competitive.”
“We have taken some significant steps forward in the past 12 months and we will head to Rio with a real belief that we can challenge for medals.
“The chance to compete at the Olympics only comes around every four years and we are determined to make the most of this opportunity. We have an extremely talented group and we showed in the qualifiers the type of football we can play so we are confident we can match it with anyone and we will give it our all when we get to Brazil.”
WOMEN’S FOOTBALL GROUPINGS
GROUP E: Brazil, China, Sweden, South Africa
GROUP F: Canada, Australia, Zimbabwe, Germany
GROUP G: USA, New Zealand, France, Colombia
Brazil v China (Olympic Stadium, Rio de Janeiro)
Canada v Australia (Corinthians Arena, Sao Paulo)
South Africa v China (Olympic Stadium, Rio de Janeiro)
Germany v Australia (Corinthians Arena, Sao Paulo)
China v Sweden (Mané Garrincha Stadium, Brasilia)
Australia v Zimbabwe (Fonte Nova Arena, Salvador)
Friday, 12/08/16 – Quarter-finals:
Match 19: 1st G v 3rd E/F (Mané Garrincha Stadium, Brasilia)
Match 20: 2nd E v 2nd F (Fonte Nova Arena, Salvador)
Match 21: 1st F v 2nd G (Corinthians Arena, Sao Paulo)
Match 22: 1st E v 3rd F/G (Mineirão, Belo Horizonte)
Tuesday, 16/08/16 – Semi-finals
Match 23: Winner M21 v Winner M20 (Mineirão, Belo Horizonte)
Match 24: Winner M22 v Winner M19 (Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro)
Friday, 19/08/16 – Bronze medal match:
Match 25: Loser M24 v Loser M23 (Corinthians Arena, Sao Paulo)
Friday, 19/08/16 – Final:
Match 26: Winner M24 v Winner M23 (Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro)