Australia's Sam Kerr (L) celebrates her goal against Brazil with teammates during their women's friendly football match at Newcastle on September 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAEED KHAN / --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE-- (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The 2016 Olympics ended in heartbreak for Australia's Matildas.

The tense 7-6 penalty shoot-out loss in Rio was the beginning of an unlucky run with penalties for the women's national team, who later failed to advance the 2019 FIFA World Cup for the same reason.

However, almost five years later do the team have what it takes to finally go for gold?

It is no secret that the Matildas are one of Australia's most successful women's sporting teams.

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The team continue to succeed in comparison to their male counterparts, going further in tournaments and even winning the FIFA Tournament of Nations back in 2017.

With global stars such as Sam Kerr, Ellie Carpenter and Caitlin Foord ranked in the 100 best players in the world, the team is certainly not shy on talent.

In particular, Captain Sam Kerr has continued to shine throughout the past two years at Chelsea in England's Premier League.

Kerr has had a number of successes with the club during the 2020/2021 season, winning the Community Shield, League Cup, FAWSL title and a strong second in the European Champions League.

Kerr also made history through ticket sales, with Chelsea's women's team managing to sell out their full allocated season of tickets in just two weeks of being released.

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Yet despite the 2021 Golden Boot Winners undeniable talent, recent national performances have begun to raise questions ahead of the team's Olympic appearances.

More recently, the team has been involved in 5-2 (the Netherlands) and 5-0 (Germany) thrashings, generating mass criticism towards the squad.

Captain Kerr was quick to defend her team, blaming the losses on the lack of key players and the teams inexperience with new coach, Tony Gustavsson.

“We’ve had no camps, we had no players from our Australian leagues, we had players out with COVID, players out with injury. So it was a really big learning week for us – new coach [as well],” Kerr told The World Game.

Yet with the team having to face both United States and Sweden in their group draw many are  still waiting to see if Australia's best team will be good enough.

The Matildas head off to Tokyo in the coming weeks, with a friendly scheduled against Olympic hosts, Japan, on the 14th of July - a week before the Olympics kick off.


Goalkeepers: Tegan Micah, Lydia Williams.

Defenders: Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley, Alanna Kennedy, Clare Polkinghorne, Aivi Luik

Midfielders: Emily van Egmond, Elise Kellond-Knight, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Tameka Yallop, Chloe Logarzo

Forwards: Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Emily Gielnik, Sam Kerr (C), Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon