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Waltz-in Matildas: Soccer stars march on after Brazilian joy

- JAMES HETHERINGT­ON PETER ROLFE

THE Matildas, Australia’s women’s soccer team, are just two wins away from a World Cup final in Canada and scoring huge goals for the women’s code at home.

The Matildas became the most successful Aussie team at a World Cup and the first to win at the knockout stage, sending powerhouse Brazil packing in a 1-0 upset at the weekend.

The round-of-16 triumph — the first by a men’s or women’s Australian team at a World Cup — booked a quarter-final berth against either Japan or The Netherland­s.

Soccer chiefs say the game is booming among girls, and the Matildas’ success will create even more interest.

South Australian Melissa Barbieri, who plays for Adelaide United, is part of the squad in Canada and Football Federation South Australia CEO Michael Carter believes it will do big things for women’s soccer here.

“I think it will be fantastic for the sport. I expect more young girls to wish to participat­e in an expanding code,” he said. “If the men’s game is anything to go by in 2006, then there is a strong possibilit­y that we could see a significan­t jump in the sport.”

Top female players may also reasonably expect a significan­t jump in pay, however, as their success has highlighte­d the fact they are playing for less than 10 per cent of the match fees paid to the men. PAGE 68: BRAZIL-IANT

 ?? Picture: ANDREW VAUGHAN/THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP ?? SHOT AT THE TITLE: Australian players celebrate after Kyah Simon scored the winner against Brazil.
Picture: ANDREW VAUGHAN/THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP SHOT AT THE TITLE: Australian players celebrate after Kyah Simon scored the winner against Brazil.

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