Matildas' dream shedule for 2023 World Cup
The Matildas' quest to win the 2023 Women's World Cup will take place exclusively in Australia's eastern states with a dream schedule of minimal travel.
Tony Gustavsson's Australian team will play games in only Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in scheduling released by FIFA on Thursday.
The Matildas will play group games in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in the 2023 edition of the showpiece tournament hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand.
Should the Matildas advance as expected from the group stage they'll play a round of 16 game in either Sydney or Brisbane.
Win that sudden-death fixture and Australia's path to the cup includes a quarter-final and semi-final in either Brisbane or Sydney ahead of the final at Sydney's Stadium Australia.
Football Australia chief executive James Johnson says he's "very pleased with the match schedule from many perspectives".
"It has delivered Australia a higher split of matches with 35 of a possible 64 matches being played across the five Australian host cities," Johnson said.
"It also guarantees that the Matildas will play all their matches in Australia - an important factor in the team's preparation."
Perth - the home city of national captain and star striker Sam Kerr - and Adelaide are the other Australian host cities but both miss out on games featuring the Matildas.
Four New Zealand cities - Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Hamilton - will host 29 games during the July 23 to August 20 cup in 2023.
Auckland's Eden Park will host a semi-final, as will Sydney's Stadium Australia.
Sydney is the big winner from the schedule, hosting 11 matches - the most of any host city - with Auckland and Wellington faring next-best with nine games each.
The new Sydney Football Stadium will be the venue for six group games and a round of 16 fixture with Stadium Australia the venue for a round of 16 game, quarter-final, semi-final and final.
Brisbane will stage eight games including the playoff for third place while Melbourne's six games include four group games and two round of 16 games.
Perth has missed out on a knockout game with all its five fixtures coming in the group stage while Adelaide's five matches feature four group games and one round of 16 match.
A draw will be held at an as-yet unreleased date where groups and match pairings, along with kick-off times, will be confirmed.
As hosts, Australia and New Zealand are assured of top place in Groups B and A respectively.
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