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Matildas vs England: KNOCKOUT match or KNOCKOUT ticket prices for young Matildas fans?

The Matildas faced their biggest challenge yet when they became the first Australian national soccer team to qualify for a FWWC (FIFA Women’s World Cup) semi-finals.

But young Matildas fans who watched on in support of their idols, have been battling challenges of their own with the cost-of-living crisis.

Vi Truong worked as a Media and Broadcast volunteer at the FWWC at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium recently (Photo supplied by Truong)

Young 19-year-old BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) female journalist, Vi Truong is a full-time, working university student.

She must reconsider her lifestyle expenditure amidst the current rising cost of living crisis, but Truong is fortunate to still live at home where she is supported with housing amenities.

However, she cuts back on social activities like concerts, meeting friends, or weekly nights out to save money.

“Due to rising costs, I’m having to work more to close the financial gap, meaning I miss out on many sporting games I would usually attend in person,” she says.

Truong worked in the Media and Broadcast team at the FWWC.

She was lucky enough to watch the Round of 16 knockout match between the Matildas and

Canada from the pitch at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.

Live crowds enable fans to “physically show support for their sporting idols," she says.

“Attending FWWC matches at live sites like Federation Square increases diversity, representation and visibility.”

“There isn’t a word to describe the feeling of a home world cup!”

Sometimes, she pinched herself to be involved in one of the largest, historic women’s global sporting events, in what is typically a male-dominated field.

“I’m lucky that most of my work currently provides me inner sanctum access to sports, which are a huge hobby and passion of mine,” Truong says.

Her two female supervisors have worked in football for decades.

“Having expertise, guidance and global lived experience has truly been inspiring," Truong says.

Many Matildas fans have been inspired by their first-ever semi-final appearance, due to the adversity they faced and nearly being knocked out after their group-stage loss to Nigeria.

“To succeed and fully embody that special brand of Australian sporting excellence is something I think any Australian sporting fan should be very proud of,” Truong says.

Her favourite women’s soccer players include Australia’s Mary Fowler, Sam Kerr, and United States’ Alex Morgan.

“The energy, character and essence that these three bring both on and off the pitch make football so much more engaging to watch,” she says.

“I particularly love Fowler’s background – we’re the same age, to see her play so well on the global stage has been incredible, she is my favourite!”

In a similar fashion, 18-year-old young female footballer Kristina Simic showed her support for the Matildas at Federation Square during the tournament.

Similar to Truong, she also works full-time, whilst studying at University struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Due to the rising costs of living, Simic watches football matches from outside stadiums or pubs, as it is more affordable and accessible to experience.

FWWC fans Kristina Simic, Hayley Doherty, Thomas Norman at Federation Square recently (Photo supplied by Kristina Simic)

Simic has an A-League membership with Melbourne City Football Club. It costs $336 for premium, nearly $200 for reserved seating, while general admission costs

over $100 according to Melbourne City Football Club’s website.

“To afford a basic A-League membership, it’s equivalent to six hours of work!”

“I’m not playing football this season, to work more, so I can afford a Melbourne City Football Club membership,” she says.

After their shock group-stage loss to Nigeria, the Matildas got further than most Australians expected.

“Knowing we’re all here for one cause, everyone supporting one team, the incredible changes the Tillies are bringing to Australian society,” she says.

“Watching the Matildas in a live atmosphere is something you can't beat at home!”

“At home, I check Instagram, whereas watching live, I sense the collective aura everyone else feels,” Simic says.

Her favourite players are Sam Kerr and Steph Catley.

To see Kerr’s leadership from the sidelines even with her calf injury shows “her passion, despite her own personal struggles.”

“I love the Melbournian representation with Catley. She’s local, so motivated, and so in love with the game. I hope it inspires other girls growing up to give anything a go!”

Football is underrepresented in Australia compared to European countries with the Premier League in the United Kingdom and La Liga in Spain.

“Having a home world cup brings joy since football in Australia is not as dominant as the Australian Football League or cricket in Australia,” Simic says.


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