The Socceroos and Matildas are set to light up Etihad Stadium tonight in a blockbuster soccer double header – the first of its kind.
The Matildas will kick off proceedings when they go up against the New Zealand Ferns, before the Socceroos take on Greece.
The international friendly matches, announced by Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren earlier this year, are a key part of both Australian teams’ preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The Socceroos fixture is also the second of the Dodoni Series and a crucial final preparation for both nations ahead of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers commencing in September.
Tonight’s matches are to be hotly contested after the Matildas were victorious over the Football Ferns 2-0 in the weekend’s battle in Ballarat, while the Socceroos scored a 1-0 win in the first leg of the series on Saturday night.
The Socceroos’ goal came late in the piece, and Greece will no doubt be seeking to avenge the weekend’s defeat in front of a large Greek crowd here in Melbourne.
Melbourne has a rich history of supporting international football, with big games in recent years including Liverpool, Real Madrid, Manchester City and AS Roma, and tonight’s fixture is no exception.
Adding another layer to the experience, Melbourne’s Greek community – the largest outside of Greece – is set to delight and entertain with a host of cultural offerings ahead of the double-header.
This will include a range of food stalls, face painting, live music and ancient-Greek inspired soldiers.
Melbourne’s reputation as the sporting capital of the world is unrivalled, with the Victorian capital recently being named the international Ultimate Sports City of the Decade.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren
“With the depth of established and emerging stars set to play tonight, it is easy to see that Australia’s footballing future shines bright.”
“This is a great opportunity for Victorians and visitors to get along and cheer on their much loved Socceroos and Matildas, before they jet off to the Olympics and take on the world’s best in Rio.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020