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FIFAWWC Countdown: Day 64 - Matildas have the country in a frenzy

As the countdown to the FIFA Women's World Cup reaches its final week, anticipation mounts for what is set to be the largest international women's sports tournament in history. On Day 64 of Edge of the Crowd's 70-Day Countdown, we turn our focus towards the building frenzy in Australia. With national pride at stake, all hopes are pinned on one team - The Matildas.

Fed Square Frenzy

Melbourne's iconic Federation Square turned into a sea of green and gold on Tuesday, July 11, as fans gathered to cheer on the CommBank Matildas. The final squad for the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup made a public appearance at the popular city spot, with authorities confirming a crowd of 3,500 in attendance.

The event marked a significant milestone as the Matildas prepared for the forthcoming Women's World Cup. The team is set to play against world-ranked number five France at Marvel Stadium this Friday, in a much-anticipated 'Send-Off' match before they head off to compete in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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The impressive turnout at Federation Square is a testament to the overwhelming support for the Matildas. The enthusiasm and passion of the crowd was palpable, as they donned team colours and cheered for their heroes, injecting the square with a carnival-like atmosphere.

The public appearance was not only a chance for the fans to show their support but also a unique opportunity for the Matildas to connect with their fans and feel the nation's encouragement firsthand. As the countdown to the Women's World Cup continues, this remarkable show of solidarity underscores the Matildas' crucial role in representing Australia on the world stage.

Send Off Sold Out

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In a show of unyielding support, Australia's football community is set to rally behind the CommBank Matildas in record numbers. The upcoming "Send Off" match against France at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium on July 14 has completely sold out. The highly anticipated fixture will serve as the team's final preparation before they kick off their FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 campaign on July 20.

This unprecedented sale of every available seat, along with a handful of remaining standing-room-only tickets, anticipates the stadium will be packed to the rafters. With a projected crowd of over 50,000 spectators, the match is set to break the record for the largest home crowd ever for the Australian senior women's national football team. The previous record was set in 2021 when 36,109 fans gathered at Sydney's Accor Stadium to see the Matildas take on the USWNT.

Football Australia's CEO, James Johnson, couldn't hide his delight at the enthusiastic response, saying"We're absolutely delighted but not surprised to see this Send-Off match sell out".

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He credited the Matildas' popularity and the growth of women's football in Australia, adding "The CommBank Matildas resonate with all Australians. They are one of the country's most popular national teams, and we've witnessed rapid growth in both general interest and attendances over the past four years. This is testament to the hard work of so many both on and off the field".

The official crowd count will depend on the number of Medallion Club Members and Corporate Box holders who attend the match. The final total will be confirmed and announced midway through the second half.

For those who missed out on tickets, you can catch the 'Send Off' match will be broadcast live and free on 10 Bold, 10 Play and Paramount+, with kick-off at 7.30pm AEST. As the nation unites to cheer on the Matildas, this promises to be the beginning of a memorable couple of months for Australian football.

Carpenter and Gustavsson Face The Media

Matildas full-back Ellie Carpenter and head coach Tony Gustavsson faced the media prior to the “Send Off” match against France.

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Carpenter spoke about how playing in front of such a big crowd on home soil is giving her goosebumps just thinking about it.

“The feeling (on Friday) is you’re going to think, ‘woah, this is incredible’, and then having in the back of your mind next week is going to be double this,” the Olympique Lyonnais and Matildas full-back said

“When can I ever play in front of my home country, my family like this ever again? So, I’m just making the most of it.”

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Coach Tony Gustavsson admitted that despite the massive crowd, he will be managing players in this fixture, with the clear goal being the Group B matchday one clash versus the Republic of Ireland.

"I'm also going to consider any niggles and minutes played because it's all about the Ireland game. I think it will be a good indicator of a starting lineup but also a finishing lineup", Gustavsson said.

To get the full experience of Edge of the Crowd's 70-Day Countdown to the FIFA Women's World Cup this July, don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Also don't forget to listen to the Australian World Cup Podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. New episode out now!