Matildas to being World Cup preparations at home (Image Source: FFA)

Football Federation Australia has announced the formation of the “Cup of Nations”, a four nation tournament featuring Australia, Argentina, Korea Republic and New Zealand.  

Played in late February and early March 2019, the Cup of Nations tournament will feature a round robin format with three match days in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. 

“We’ve been working towards hosting a four-nation tournament in Australia for some time and it’s great to finally unveil what we plan on becoming a regular feature of the Australian sporting calendar,” said FFA CEO David Gallop. 

“We’ve seen the success of other competitions such as the Tournament of Nations in the USA and they’ve helped inspire and inform the creation of the Cup of Nations.

“The Cup of Nations will present football fans in Australia’s three biggest cities with the opportunity to farewell the Westfield Matildas ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, as well as get a taste of the international football festival that awaits in France.”  

With four 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup bound countries participating, the Cup of Nations will be key preparation for the Matildas.  

It will also be an opportunity for the public to say farewell to the team with a majority of the team departing for overseas clubs post Cup of Nations.   

“Korea Republic, Argentina, and New Zealand will each offer different challenges for our side which will be fantastic preparation for our group leading up to the tests that await in France,” Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic said. 

“With a match against the United States also set down for April, we are starting to build out a strong schedule for the Westfield Matildas in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

“I’m pleased that, with the assistance of our match partners, we have been able to lock in more games on home soil which will only continue to grow the passion that exists for the Matildas,” he said. 

3 cities, 4 nations, 7 days

The six-match tournament will kick-off at Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah on Thursday, 28 February with Argentina playing Korea Republic followed by the Matildas against New Zealand.

The New Zealand match will take on extra significance as 2019 marks 40 years since the Westfield Matildas played their first ‘A’ international, which was against the Football Ferns, at Sutherland in 1979.

“The opportunity to honour the 40th anniversary of the Matildas’ first ‘A’ international fixture will make the New Zealand match in Sydney a special occasion for the first generation of Matildas who made the sacrifices and laid the foundations for success the team enjoys today,” said Gallop. 

Three days later, the Cup of Nations will shift to Brisbane as Argentina and New Zealand go head to head at Suncorp Stadium, before the Matildas take on Korea Republic in their second match of the tournament.

This will mark the first fixture played by the Westfield Matildas in Brisbane since 2014.

Melbourne’s AAMI Park will play host to the third and final match day of the Cup of Nations on Wednesday, 6 March where Korea Republic will take on New Zealand, and Australia will meet Argentina in the last game of the competition. 

Tickets for all matches will go on sale to Australia’s Football Family at 12pm (AEDT) today, and to the General Public from 12pm (AEDT) on Thursday, 20 December 2018. 

2019 Cup of Nations – Match Schedule

Matchday One
Thursday, 28 February 2019
Venue: Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah (Sydney), New South Wales
Match One: Argentina v Korea Republic – 4.35pm kick-off (AEDT)
Match Two: Westfield Matildas v New Zealand – 7.30pm kick-off (AEDT)

Matchday Two
Sunday, 3 March 2019
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland
Match One: Argentina v New Zealand – 3.05pm kick-off (AEST); 4.05pm (AEDT)
Match Two: Westfield Matildas v Korea Republic – 6.00pm kick-off (AEST); 7.00pm (AEDT)

Matchday Three
Wednesday, 6 March 2019
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne, Victoria
Match One: Korea Republic v New Zealand – 3.05pm kick-off (AEDT)
Match Two: Westfield Matildas v Argentina – 6.00pm kick-off (AEDT)