The CommBank Matildas continue their Paris 2024™ Asian Qualifiers Round 2 campaign on Sunday when they take on the Philippines at Optus Stadium.
The team completed their training session at the venue on Saturday, where 60,000 fans will pack in to watch Australia take on Group A leaders the Philippines.
CommBank Matildas captain Sam Kerr looked ahead to the important clash at Optus Stadium, noting the game against their fellow FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ participants will be the biggest of the group.
“It was always the big one for us this tournament,” she explained.
“Last game a few girls got a chance to play and show what they can do. So, there’s lots of competition for spots and everyone’s really ready for tomorrow.”
The Philippines came from behind to beat Chinese Taipei 4-1 with a brace to Sarina Bolden and goals to Katrina Guillou and Chandler McDaniel.
Australia are second after their 2-0 win over Iran, Kerr coming off the bench to add to Ellie Carpenter's opening goal.
Kerr's game minutes are still being closely monitored by the Matildas coaching team. Having injured her left calf on the eve of the World Cup, forcing her to miss the opening three games, Kerr told reporters on Saturday she hurt the right calf against Sweden in the Matildas’ last game of the tournament.
“It’s been difficult to be honest. In the Sweden game I did the other one, so I was rehabbing that and then came back,” Kerr said.
“I’ve just had a bit of a bit of an icky run the last two months, but now I’m getting back to full fitness, enjoying being back on the park, I’m sick of being with the physios so I’m back to being on the park every day, training, playing.”
Kerr said she was shocked by the demand for tickets for the three Olympic Qualifiers in Perth, which forced today's game to be moved to Optus Stadium.
“I’ve always come here for the AFL, so it’s nice to play here once and I didn’t think we were going to pack it out, so that’s a credit to all the fans,” she said.
“I was a bit shocked when the game moved, but I guess being out of the country, we weren’t aware of the buzz around the Matildas in Perth post the World Cup.
“I hope all the Perth people do come out, because I love giving the eastern states a bit of stick about our Perth crowds.
“We haven’t had a game in Perth in five years and it would be nice to kind of have that to draw some more games back here.”
Looking back on Thursday's win over Iran, Kerr said: "It’s nice and fun for our family and friends but it was nice to score in front of the Perth fans.
“We haven’t played here in a while, I feel like they’ve always been massive supporters. I hope all the Perth people do come out because I love giving the eastern states a bit of stick about our Perth crowds.”
Australia's game with the Philippines kicks off at 3.10pm. It will be followed by the Iran v Chinese Taipei match.
MATCH DAY 2
Philippines v Australia
Date: Sun, 29 October 2023
Kick-off: 3.10pm AWST
Broadcast: Channel 10 (WA, SA, NT, VIC, NSW, QLD, TAS & ACT), 10 Play and Paramount+
Venue: Optus Stadium, Perth|
How to Watch