Regional heavyweights and title contenders from Australia have arrived here for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, which kicks off with a double header on Thursday. The 20th edition of the tournament will see 12 teams play 30 games across three stadiums.
”@TheMatildas lands at #MumbaiAirplane arriving for the @afcasiancup. Can’t wait to see them in action!” tweeted Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell.
The Matildas are the nickname of the Australian women’s football team. The team was training in Dubai before the tournament.
Australia won the tournament in 2010 and finished second in 2006, 2014 and the last edition in 2018, losing to Japan in the last two finals. Best team of the tournament according to the FIFA ranking (11th), the Matildas are among the contenders for the title with Japan, defending champion. This is the first time the finals will have 12 teams, instead of the usual eight. Iran make their tournament debut. There are three groups of four, with the top two teams and the two best third places qualifying for the quarter-finals. The four teams that qualify for the semi-finals will automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. If Australia qualify for the semi-finals, the winner of both play-off among the four losing quarter-finals will also get direct places in the 2023 soccer world cup.
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