Tonight’s the night.
The biggest match in Australian football history: the Matildas against England for the right to face Spain in the World Cup final.
Australia have reached the semi-finals for the first time in history, while England lost in the semi-final stage at the last two Women’s World Cups.
But the Matildas have recent history against England, ending a 30-game unbeaten run for the Lionesses with an impressive 2-0 win in a friendly in April.
The match begins at 8pm AEST at Stadium Australia in Sydney.
The Matildas claimed a stunning win over France in the quarter final. Now they’re looking to go one better.
England are the European champions, the world’s fourth-ranked team – six higher than the Matildas – and even with several of their finest players missing the tournament through injury they come into the match as strong favourites.
Tony Gustavsson isn’t afraid of being the underdogs.
“If you look at rankings, they’re the favourites,” he said.
But there’s two key reasons the coach believes his Matildas side is perfectly positioned to deliver another upset.
He added: “But if you then add the belief we have and the one thing they don’t have, which is the support and the belief from the fans.
“That in itself is going to be massive.”
As for England, they’re not buying into the favouritism tag despite being the highest-ranked team left in the tournament (fourth, with Spain sixth and Australia tenth).
“I don’t think Australia are the underdog, they are playing at home and the stadium will be very full,” coach Sarina Wiegman said.
“There are two teams that are very strong and have grown into the tournament, it’s going to be very tight and competitive.
“We approach the game as any other game, we prepare how we want to play and analyse our opponent really well so we can hopefully expose some weaknesses.”
In yesterday’s pre-match press conference, Tony Gustavsson said the match would be a fascinating tactical battle.
He openly mused whether the Lionesses would stick to their possession style or change their approach to try and nullify Australia’s extreme danger on the counterattack.
“It will be an interesting tactical game in that sense, is England going to stay true to their possession game? Or are they going to take away our transition game by playing a different style of football than they normally do?”
If there’s one match-up that Australian fans will be looking forward to, it’s Sam Kerr against England’s superstar goalkeeper Mary Earps.
FIFA WWC Semi-final 2
Australia vs England
Where: Stadium Australia, Sydney
When: 8pm AEST
Source: Fox Sports