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What a month for the Matildas!

What a month for the Matildas! Our photographer Michelle Haywood has captured the excitement across the city of Sydney during the FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

On August 7, a mural celebrating the Matildas was unveiled on the sea wall at Bondi Beach. Painted by internationally acclaimed artist, Danielle Weber, and designed by Football Australia Creative Manager Ryan Ostle, the mural illustrates the passion of a team that played hard in the 2023 FIFA World Cup the world’s biggest women’s sporting event.

The artwork features eight current CommBank Matildas including captain Sam Kerr (WA), vice-captain Steph Catley (VIC), highest-capped Australian footballer Clare Polkinghorne (QLD), longest-serving Matilda Lydia Williams (ACT), forward Caitlin Foord (NSW), midfielder Katrina Gorry (QLD), defender Charli Grant (SA) and Northern NSW stalwart Emily van Egmond (NSW).

On August 20, Chris Minns announced that Stadium Australia in Olympic Park, where the Matildas made history in so many ways, is getting a huge Matildas mural. He said, “This giant mural that we’re commissioning at Stadium Australia will celebrate their historic success.”

On August 13, Matildas’ fans hit the streets of Sydney in the City2Surf as the world’s largest fun run returned with over 70,000 participants starting this year’s race.

The sails of the Sydney Opera House were illuminated green and gold on August 7 to support the Matildas in their round-of-16 clash with Denmark at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Fans were out in force to greet the Matildas arriving in Sydney ahead of the World Cup semi-final on August 17 which saw the team defeated by England 3-1 in front of 75,784 fans at Stadium Australia. Having beaten three of the world’s top 15-ranked teams to become the first Australian team to reach a World Cup semi-final (men’s or women’s), the Matildas’ historic run came to an end in a hard-fought clash with the European champions.

On Saturday August 19, on the eve of the Women’s World Cup final, FIFA and Football Australia staged a community football tournament on the Unity Pitch in front of the Sydney Opera House. FIFA Legends joined 40 local footballers to play games for the community to enjoy.

The Beyond Greatness Community Football Tournament games were played between 2pm and 5pm, before the 6pm kick-off of the third place match between Sweden and Australia. Fans then walked to Tumbalong Park to watch the match screened at the FIFA Fan Festival.

FIFA’s Unity Pitch was unveiled at Sydney Harbour during the One-Year-To-Go milestone in July 2022. During the finals it has travelled to every host city in Australia and New Zealand, engaging tens of thousands of participants.

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