The Matildas’ quest to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics is off to the perfect start with a 2-0 win over Iran in Perth.
Just under 18,000 fans turned out at HBF Park to see the Matildas in action on home soil for the first time since the World Cup.
Coach Tony Gustavsson opted to start most of the side’s overseas-based stars from the bench due to the short preparation time including Sam Kerr, Mackenzie Arnold, Mary Fowler, Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso.
Ellie Carpenter was the first to find the back of the net for the Matildas in the 18th minute after a dazzling run down the right-hand side by Courtnee Vine.
The crowd roared in the 65th minute when Gustavasson made a number of changes, bringing Kerr, Fowler and Steph Catley into the action.
Kerr almost scored within minutes of being on the field, before eventually adding Australia’s second goal in the 78th minute.
The Aussies then held on to finish the game 2-0 up.
Gustavsson was full of praise for the side given the short prep time.
“To then able to, with only one training session and only one video meeting able to challenge the players with some improvement areas and they take that on with bravery, that makes me really excited,’ Gustavsson said.
The Matildas will now take on The Philippines on Sunday and then Taiwan on Wednesday.