Olympics 2021: Olyroos, Matildas handed tough Tokyo draws
The Matildas and Olyroos have discovered their opponents for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – and it’s a nightmare for both sides.
The Olyroos have been drawn alongside heavyweights Spain and Argentina as well as Egypt, who have made more men’s Olympics football appearances than any other African nation.
The trio are the African, European, and South American U23 champions.
For the Matildas, they face reigning World Cup champions and world No.1 USA, as well as world No. 5 Sweden (2016 silver medallists) and New Zealand.
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It is the Matildas’ fourth Olympics appearance, while for both the USA and Sweden, it is their seventh appearances apiece — two of just three sides to have appeared in all seven editions since women’s football was introduced.
Australia has never claimed a medal in football.
The Matildas have a tough draw at the Olympics. Picture: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
It is a particularly torrid draw for the Olyroos, who are returning to the Olympics for the first time since 2008 – and making Australia’s seventh men’s appearance overall.
But the Olyroos have history against two of their opponents. In the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Australia lost 3-2 to Spain in the group stage as legendary Raul scored a brace. Australia didn’t make it out of the group stage.
In 2004, Australia was stuck in the same group as Argentina, who beat the Australians 1-0 – and went on to go to win the Gold medal while Australia lost in the quarter-finals.
Again in 2008, Australia was drawn alongside Argentina. Lionel Messi led another star-studded Argentina side to back-to-back tournament wins after a 1-0 win over the Olyroos in the group stage.
Australia didn’t make it out of the group.
As for the Matildas, they have previously done battle with the USA and Sweden in prior Olympics. The USA, with four gold and one silver from their six prior appearances, are an almost unstoppable force.
But in 2016, Sweden reached their maiden final by beating the defending champions USA in the quarter-finals via penalties.
Argentina v Australia
Thursday 22nd July, 8:30pm (AEST)
Australia v Spain
Sunday 25th July, 8:30pm (AEST)
Australia v Egypt
Wednesday 28th July, 9pm (AEST)
Miyagi Stadium, Rifu
Australia has been handed a nightmare draw for the men’s football competition at the Tokyo Olympics.Source:Supplied
Group of death coming up for the Olyroos… #tokyo2021
Australia v New Zealand
21 July 2021
Kick Off: 21:30 (AEST)
Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo
Sweden v Australia
24 July 2021
Kick Off: 18:30 (AEST)
Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama
United States v Australia
27 July 2021
Kick Off: 16:00 (AEST)
Kashima Stadium, Kashima
The Matildas face a trio of juicy encounters at the Olympics.Source:Supplied
Originally published asOlyroos, Matildas handed nightmare Tokyo draws
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