The Australian women’s soccer team, the Matilda’s, enjoyed a fantastic 2017 season and will be hoping to continue their run of form in 2018 beginning with the Algarve Cup.
The Algarve Cup is an invitational tournament held in Portugal and guarantees that each team will play three group matches before a fourth match to determine their final tournament ranking.
The matches will be pivotal in the side’s preparation for the upcoming in Asian Cup to be held in Jordan in February. That tournament will also play a role in their qualification for the 2019 Women’s World Cup and so the Matilda’s will be looking to maintain their high standard of performance.
Here is everything that you need to know about the Algarve Cup.
Australia vs Norway
Thursday 1st March, 2018
5:30am AEDST at the Albufeira Municipal Stadium, Albufiera, Portugal
Portugal vs Australia
Saturday 3rd March, 2018
3am AEDST at the Estadio Algarve, Algarve, Portugal
Australia vs China PR
Tuesday 6th March, 2018
6am AEDST at the Albufeira Municipal Stadium, Albufiera, Portugal
The tournament sees three groups each containing four teams resulting in each team playing three group games before a final of sorts based upon their group ranking to determine their final tournament ranking.
The highest ranking group winner will play the second best group winner in the final and the third highest ranking group winner will play the highest ranked team to come second in their group ina third-place playoff.
The remaining teams will playoff in battles for 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th based on their final group and overall rankings.
Sam Kerr is a bona fide star coming off a stellar 2017 which saw her nominated for numerous awards taking home the AFC Women’s Player of the Year and PFA Women’s player of the Year.
The striker took full advantage of a more central role in 2017 leading the Matilda’s to victory in the Tournament of Nations and scoring a huge 36 goals in just 43 games for both her club in the MLS and Australia.
At just 24, there is still plenty of development left in Kerr – a scary proposition for opposition defenders.
Despite having a torrid run with injury, Logarzo is very much a break-out star for this Matilda’s line-up and will be hoping to cement a spot in the starting IX in the upcoming tournament.
Her ability to play in central midfield and out wide is versatility that is needed in this Matilda’s squad and could see her opportunities rise. She has recently enjoyed a relatively in-from scoring run and will want to continue that through the Algarve Cup and into April’s Asian Cup.