Ultimate Guide: FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup

With the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup kicking off in Costa Rica in just under a week, let’s breakdown the background of the tournament, the squad and our opponents.

The squad has been finalised following the completion of the CommBank Young Matildas pre-tournament training camp in Mexico City which included a training match against Club Universidad Nacional Femenil and closed door international friendly against the Mexico U20 Women’s National Team.

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Australia will open their tournament against hosts Costa Rica at the Estadio Nacional, San Jose on Thursday, 11 August at 12.00 pm AEST.

Background

This will be the fourth time that Australia competes in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, with Australia’s first appearance at the tournament at the 2002 edition, which was the first sanctioned youth tournament for women.

The CommBank Young Matildas last competed at the tournament in 2006, where the U-20 current head coach, Leah Blayney played in two out of three of Australia’s group stage games.

Australia’s best finish in the competition is the quarter-finals, making the final eight in the 2002 and 2004 editions of the tournament. Knocked out in 2002 by Brazil, Daniela scored a golden goal to send the South American side into the semi-finals.

Squad

Australia’s final squad features a strong A-League Women’s presence with 17 players recording match minutes during the 2021/22 season. The 21 players represent six Member Federations with all players born on or after January 1, 2002.

Blayney has been able to call upon the majority of the group who have featured throughout the CommBank Young Matildas preparation that has seen members of the squad participate in April and June’s internationals against New Zealand, the AFF Women’s Championships 2022 in July and a host of training camps.

Speaking of the squad selection, Blayney said: “As we anticipated when we named the extended squad, selecting the final 21 players has been made extremely difficult due to the quality of play and application displayed by the playing group.”

“While it is a young final squad that we have selected, it is a talented squad with a mix of high technical ability, ever-increasing tactical maturity and the heart and desire that are indicative of Australian teams. This is a squad that has the opportunity to demonstrate their quality on the global stage.”

The 21 players represent six Member Federations from Football NSW (12), Capital Football (2), Football Victoria (2), Football West (2), Northern NSW Football (2) and Football South Australia (1).

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The Young Matildas posing for a team photo before departing for the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™. (Photo: Ann Odong/Football Australia)

17 squad members played match minutes in the 2021/22 A-League Women’s season with all ten A-League Women’s clubs from that season represented: Adelaide United (2), Brisbane Roar (1), Canberra United (1), Melbourne City (2), Melbourne Victory (1), Newcastle Jets (1), Perth Glory (1), Sydney FC (4), Wellington Phoenix (1) and Western Sydney Wanderers (3).

The CommBank Young Matildas squad has a combined 238 A-League Women’s appearances at an average of 14 appearances per player. Five of Australia’s FIFA U20 Women’s World 2022™ selected squad members were born in regional areas, the remaining 16 born in capital cities.

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Opponents

Australia will face three top footballing nations in the group stage, starting with host nation Costa Rica, then Brazil and finishing their group games against the 2018 runners-up in Spain.

Although having a short history of competing at the U-20 level, the Young Matildas have faced Brazil twice in this tournament. Australia was knocked out of the 2002 tournament by Brazil in the quarter-finals, going down 4-3. They then faced one another in the group stage of the 2006 tournament, where Brazil went on to win 2-0, the last time Australia competed in the tournament.

All three sides, like Australia, have played some closed-door international friendlies in the lead-up to the tournament. Costa Rica most recently faced New Zealand, coming away with a 1-1 draw. Brazil, also faced New Zealand, with the game ending 4-0 to Brazil. Lastly, Spain was defeated 3-0 by the USA in a practice match before the tournament commences.

Australia’s preparation for the tournament saw them face Club Universidad Nacional Femenil (1-0 W), Mexico U20 Women’s National Team (3-3 D) and Colombia U20 Women’s National Team (3-2W).

How to Watch

All of Australia’s matches for the tournament will be shown live, free and in HD on SBS and SBS On Demand with a full studio broadcast. Fans are able to watch on free-to-air TV or use a smart device to watch using the SBS app.

Costa Rica v Australia

Date: Wednesday, 10 August 2022 (local)/ Thursday, 11 August 2022

Venue: Estadio Nacional, San Jose

Kick-Off: 8:00 pm CST (local)/ 12:00pm AEST

Broadcast: SBS Australia

Brazil v Australia

Date: Saturday, 13 August 2022 (local)/ Sunday, 14 August 2022

Venue: Morera Soto, Alajuela

Kick-Off: 2:00 pm CST (local)/ 6:00am AEST

Broadcast: SBS Australia

Australia v Spain

Date: Tuesday, 16 August 2022 (local)/ Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Venue: Morera Soto, Alajuela

Kick-Off: 8:00 pm CST (local)/ 12:00pm AEST

Broadcast: SBS Australia

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