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Football: Australia to host Cup of Nations ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup

Canberra, Jan 12 (IANS) Australia’s onational women’s football team will play home games against Spain, the Czech Republic and Jamaica ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Football Australia (FA) announced on Thursday that the Matildas will participate in the Cup of Nations, a four-team tournament comprising three match days in February’s international window.

Games will be played at Central Coast Stadium on February 16, Parramatta Stadium on February 19 and McDonald Jones Stadium on Feb 22, with the Matildas to play the Czech Republic, Spain and Jamaica in order.

For the Matildas, the match against seventh-ranked Spain will offer a chance to make amends for a 7-0 defeat last June.

Tony Gustavsson, head coach of the Matildas, said playing matches at home is crucial ahead of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20, reports news agency Xinhua.

“The teams have been carefully selected for the Cup of Nations to ensure we have the right preparation heading into the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” he said in a media release.

“Not only are all three nations filled with quality, but they also provide a difference in playing style and approach with the three-match days aiming to mirror tournament group play to the best of our ability.”

The Matildas are on a four-game winning streak, including a 4-0 win against third-ranked Sweden last November.

They will compete in Group B at the World Cup alongside Ireland, Nigeria and Canada.

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