Match Preview: CommBank Matildas v South Africa

The CommBank Matildas historic international against the Women’s African Cup of Nations champions, South Africa, is set for this Saturday at Kingsmeadow Stadium in London.

The fixture will be the first international match played at the home of England’s Women’s Super League champions, Chelsea Women’s FC, and the club home of CommBank Matildas captain Sam Kerr. 

It continues Australia’s strong schedule of high-quality internationals and marks the first ever scheduled international friendly between an Australian women’s national team and an African nation outside of a FIFA Women’s World Cup™ or an Olympic Games.

MAT V SWE Thin Banner

Kingsmeadow Stadium will be the backdrop of the first-ever encounter, with the newly-opened stadium set to welcome both sides that are set for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ next year.

Squad News

Head Coach Tony Gustavsson has named a 22-player squad for the October window, with some late changes to the squad due to injury seeing the addition of forward Remy Siemsen and defenders Emma Checker and Matilda McNamara named to the squad.

The European-based trio will replace Emily van Egmond (quad strain), Tameka Yallop (ankle), Clare Wheeler (minor knee) and forward Kyah Simon (knee) who have all been ruled out due to injuries sustained at their clubs prior to the commencement of the October FIFA Women’s International Window.  

Van Egmond, Yallop, Wheeler and Simon join Alanna Kennedy on the sidelines after the Manchester City defender recently suffered a shoulder fracture to keep her from the October training camp roster. Meanwhile, defender Ellie Carpenter continues to rehab from an ACL sustained in May this year.

Head coach Tony Gustavsson said: “With only four international windows until the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™, every match has meaning, and every training camp is vital for us to continue building understanding and chemistry in our game plan.”

“Maintaining the core of the squad is still our focus but unfortunately, there are still a couple of players that we will make a call on once we have further medical updates closer to the camp."

“Last window we saw encouraging periods of how we want to play as a team, and we hope to have more players available for this window to give us the opportunity to get the consistency we are working towards. We understand the task ahead of us as a team to prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ and we are all committed to keep progressing every window.” 

Our Opponent

Since qualifying for their first major international tournament a decade ago, South Africa has steadily grown into an emerging nation and strong power of the African continent.

In July, Banyana Banyana captured their first ever Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Morocco, while also qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™. This fixture would result in Australia having played an opponent from every FIFA confederation over the last 18 months.

CommBank Matildas Head Coach Tony Gustavsson said: “To have played a nation from every FIFA confederation, will provide the coaching staff and the players with a lot of invaluable information during our final phase of preparations.”

"South Africa are current champions of Africa and a team that is fast rising in esteem in women’s football. On the road to their first African Cup of Nations title, they demonstrated excellent qualities as a team and as individuals which should ensure an entertaining and challenging encounter.”

South Africa named their upcoming squad for the clash, with Head Coach Desiree Ellis naming a 23-player squad, that will be eager to prove themselves ahead of their second FIFA Women's World Cup next year. 

Ellis' squad, bar three players, all ply their trade in South Africa with Italian-based midfielder Refiloe Jane the only member of the squad that has experience playing in Australia, representing Canberra United in the 2018/19 season.  

For all the latest news and information regarding the two-games series, stay updated via the official Commonwealth Bank Matildas website.

CommBank Matildas v South Africa
Date: Saturday, 8 October 2022
Location: Kingsmeadow, London
Kick-Off: 12:30pm (local) / 10.30pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: 10 Bold, 10 Play and Paramount+
Tickets are available for purchase exclusively online

Visit page
This article was originally published on the CommBank Matildas website.