Matildas Beat North Korea 2-1 To Qualify For Rio

08/03/2016 4:00 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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OSAKA, JAPAN - MARCH 07: Captain Clare Polkinghorne of Australia celebrates her team's qualification for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic after her team's 2-1 win in the AFC Women's Olympic Final Qualification Round match between North Korea and Australia at Yanmar Stadium Nagai on March 7, 2016 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

On International Women's Day, we bring to your attention some awesome Australian women doing some great stuff on the international stage.

This is Australian women's football team, the Matildas, and they're rather chuffed at qualifying for the Rio Olympics, as you can see here.

Awesome, just awesome!Let the celebrations begin!

Posted by Matildas on Monday, March 7, 2016
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Did we just say "rather chuffed"? What we meant to say was completely over the moon. Dare we say that if the Matildas lived on Jupiter, they'd be well and truly over each and every one of that planet's 67 moons too.

These ladies are seriously stoked. The woohoo-o-meter was off the dial. Here's the deliriously delicious moment the Matildas beat North Korea, thus securing their Rio berth.

The moment we qualified for Rio!

Posted by Matildas on Monday, March 7, 2016



Now this is all very significant because the Matildas have not competed at the Olympics since 2004 when they made the quarter finals but fell short of the medals. The only other Olympic appearance of our national women's team was at Sydney 2000. Neither our men nor our women have ever won a medal in the sport.

But this could change in Rio. Just 12 teams will contest the women's competition, and the Australians believe they're as good a chance as anybody.

"Our goal is not just to qualify for Rio, but to get a medal, and we are aiming for a gold medal," coach Alen Stajcic said after his side beat North Korea 2-1.

That result meant Australia had qualified in a tough Asian group from which only two nations would advance. We've still got one match remaining against tournament hosts China -- who have also qualified -- but the result doesn't matter. We're through.

Unlike the men's competition -- which is effectively an Under-23 event with a global megastar or two thrown in -- women's football at the Olympics is a full-strength competition. The United States beat Japan in the London 2012 final. They also beat Japan in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup final.

So if Australia does well in Rio, it's huge on all sorts of levels. A shame they don't give gold medals for celebrations because we're clearly well ahead of the world there. But maybe we're world beaters at football too. All will be revealed in August.

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