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Sport

‘Trailblazers’ spearhead Australia tilt at Olympic football gold

todayJune 4, 2024 5

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Australia named an 18-member women’s football squad “full of trailblazers and record-breakers” on Tuesday in their pursuit of gold at the Paris Olympics next month.

Arsenal defender Steph Catley will captain the side in the absence of superstar striker Sam Kerr, who had already been ruled out of the Games because of a serious knee injury.

The Matildas finished fourth at the last Games in Tokyo and again at their home World Cup in 2023.

Real Madrid’s Hayley Raso and Everton’s Clare Wheeler were on target as Australia beat Asian champions China 2-0 in front of 76,798 fans Monday in their final home match before Paris.

Arsenal striker Caitlin Foord did not play because of injury, but along with Raso and Wheeler was named in Tony Gustavsson’s squad for the Games in the French capital, which begin on July 26.

Eight of the squad, including Catley and vice-captains Emily Van Egmond and Ellie Carpenter, will become the first Australian footballers to compete at three Olympics.

“This team is already full of trailblazers and record-breakers,” said Australia’s chef de mission Anna Meares.

Gustavsson’s side are in a tough group with Germany, Zambia and the United States, who defeated the Australians to win bronze in Tokyo.

“This has been an incredibly challenging squad to select with so many quality players competing fiercely for limited spots,” said the Swede.

bur-pst/dh

TEAM SA

AFP

(NAMPA / AFP)

Written by: Staff Writer

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