By Buford Balony
Australia have been drawn alongside Brazil, Norway and Equatorial Guinea in the group stages of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.
FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw
Group A: Germany, Canada, Nigeria, France.
Group B: Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, England.
Group C: USA, North Korea, Colombia, Sweden.
Group D: Brazil, Australia, Norway, Equatorial Guinea.
The Matildas, who have been placed in Group D, faced both Norway and Brazil in the 2007 World Cup, recording a 1-1 draw and 3-2 loss respectively.
The Aussie girls will be looking to better their quarter-final exit from the 2007 tournament.
“I think we’ve drawn a tough group but I think group A, C and D are all tough groups,” Matildas coach Tom Sermanni said.
“If you look purely at the rankings, Group B is probably the easier group on paper.
“But at a World Cup, all teams are difficult.
“I would say this group is on a par with our group in 2007, with the exception that we don’t know a great deal about Equatorial Guinea.
“But we don’t play them until the second match so we’ve got time to have a look at them.”
The Matildas open their campaign against Brazil in Moenchengladbach on June 30 (EST).
Hosts Germany kick-off the tournament against Canada on June 27 (EST).
Buford Balony says: I hope we don’t play men instead of women against Equatorial Guinea.