The Matildas have locked in some high-quality preparation for the 2019 Women's World Cup by luring three other qualified nations to Australia early next year.
The Herald understands Argentina, South Korea and New Zealand will take part in a series of double-header friendlies across three states in late February and early March. An official announcement is expected on Tuesday.
Triple threat: Caitlin Foord and the Matildas will face Argentina, South Korea and New Zealand in a series of pre-World Cup friendlies next year.Credit:AAP
There will be six matches all up as part of a mini-tournament that will resemble the Tournament of Nations, which has been held over the last two years in the USA.
It will kick off on February 28 at Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah with Argentina taking on South Korea before Australia meets New Zealand, who are coached by former Matildas boss Tom Sermanni.
The other matches will take place at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on March 3 and AAMI Park in Melbourne on March 6.
The tournament will ensure Matildas players keep ticking over following the conclusion of the W-League season and ahead of the new National Women's Soccer League campaign in the USA, which is due to kick off in April.
It looms as one of the last opportunities coach Alen Stajcic will have with his players before they reassemble for the Women's World Cup, where the Matildas are expected to be one of the major contenders.
Old favourite: Football Ferns coach Tom Sermanni pictured during his last stint with the Matildas.Credit:Sam Hall
Australia has faced Argentina just once before in women's football, way back in 1995 – the year they became known as the Matildas after an SBS television poll, having shed their previously nickname of the 'Female Socceroos'.
Now ranked No.36 in the world, the South Americans qualified for the Women's World Cup after winning a continental play-off against Panama.
The clash with the Football Ferns will reunite the Matildas with a familiar face in Sermanni, who only took over as New Zealand coach in late October. The two trans-Tasman nations haven't met since a pair of friendlies in 2016.
As for South Korea, they held Australia to a scoreless draw in their last meeting during the group stages of the Women's Asian Cup earlier this year. They will play in the opening match of the Women's World Cup against host nation France on June 7 in Paris.
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