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The Roar


Matildas suffer horror draw for Olympic campaign, including four-time champions USA

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20th March, 2024

The Matildas have been dealt a horrible hand as they strive to win their first Olympic medal.

The draw for the women’s and men’s soccer tournaments for the Paris Games were held at a ceremony in Saint-Denis on Thursday (AEDT).

Tony Gustavsson’s side were placed in Group B along with the United States, Germany and yet-to-be-determined representative from the African Football Confederation.

>> Full Matildas Olympics fixture information

Australia will play their group stage matches in Marseille and Nice and will open their Olympic campaign against Germany on July 25 (7.00pm local / 3.00am AEST) at the Stade de Marseille, Marseille. 

Three days later they will take on the winner of April’s Confederation of African Football play-off between Zambia and Morocco on July 28 (7.00pm local / 3.00am AEST) at the Stade de Nice, Nice.  As they did at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Matildas will conclude their group stage action against the United States on July 31 (7.00pm local / 3.00am AEST) returning to the Stade de Marseille, Marseille. 

Currently ranked world No.4, the USA are now coach by Sam Kerr’s former Chelsea boss Emma Hayes.

Cortnee Vine. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)


They will also meet the fifth-ranked Germans and either Morocco or Zambia.

Defending champion Canada were drawn in Group A with hosts France, Colombia and New Zealand.

World Cup winner Spain are in Group C with Japan and Brazil while Nigeria or South Africa will join that group as another CAF qualifier.

Hosts France will play the US in Marseille to kick-off the men’s tournament on July 24, two days before the opening ceremony in Paris.

New Zealand and the winner of a play-off between Guinea and the fourth-placed team in the Asian qualifying competition, possibly Australia’s Olyroos, complete Group A.

The US are competing at the Games for the first time since Beijing 2008 and face a potentially daunting first-up task against a side coached by football great Thierry Henry.


“The Olympics … my dad would wake me up at night to watch Carl Lewis,” Henry said at the draw ceremony.

“I cried when we did not qualify, even if I had won the World Cup before.

“We didn’t have a preference (for the draw), the first goal is to get through the group phase and see what happens on the other side.

“We haven’t won it in 40 years. It’s not easy, but we will try everything.”

France claimed gold in Los Angeles back in 1984.

World champions Argentina were drawn in Group B with Morocco, Ukraine and an AFC qualifier.

Spain, runners-up in Tokyo, are in Group C along with Egypt, Dominican Republic and another qualifier from the AFC.


Group D features Paraguay, Mali and Israel as well as a final qualifier from the AFC.

Two-time defending champions Brazil failed to qualify.

Men’s Olympic soccer is national U23 teams with three roster spots available for players over the age limit.

The tournament will begin two days before the opening ceremony of the Games on July 24, with the women’s final concluding the event on August 10.

It is the first time the women’s final will wrap up the soccer tournament.

It will be staged across several venues in France including Paris, Nantes, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice, Saint-Etienne and Lyon.