Supporters have gathered in the thousands to watch the Matildas take on France’s Les Bleues in the quarter-final for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with Sydney’s Fan Festival site hitting capacity about half an hour before the match’s start time.
The game began at 5pm at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, with punters gathering at official Fan Festivals in Sydney (Tumbalong Park), Melbourne (Federation Square), Brisbane (Riverside Green), Adelaide (Festival Plaza) and Perth (Forrest Place).
Punters eager to get a spot at Darling Harbour’s Tumbalong Park were turned away from about 4.30pm onwards, after the site reached capacity. Reports on social media said long lines began to gather outside the venue, with one Twitter user warning people to avoid the area.
“Tumbalong Park in #Sydney totally overflowing for the @TheMatildas clash. Do not try and come here!” they wrote.
In Sydney’s inner-west hoards of people were seen gathered on picnic mats around the Bay Run.
Following Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’s decision to use Rod Laver arena to screen the match, the stadium seats were packed with viewers. However reports of Twitter, suggested there were still seats for last minute spectators.
The Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will be attending the game in-person, and was seen arriving at Suncorp Stadium shortly after 4pm.
In a shock last minute decision, star forward Sam Kerr will be benched at the beginning of the game.
Kerr played her first minutes in the Women’s World Cup on Monday night, coming on in the 80th minute during the team’s winning match against Denmark.
Hopes will be high among Australian soccer fans after the Matildas beat France 1-0 during a friendly game before the official start.
The match winner will progress onto the semi-finals on Wednesday night. They will either verse England or Columbia, depending on the results of tonight’s game.