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By ESPN Staff
Jan 8, 2009

Matildas to face Italy in friendlies

The Australian women's soccer team, the Matildas, will host Italy in two international friendlies in the coming month.

The first match will take place on January 31 at Sydney's Parramatta Stadium and the second at Canberra Stadium the following Saturday.

Currently ranked 14th in the world, the Matildas defeated the 12th-ranked Italians 3-0 at the Peace Queen Cup in Korea last June.

"These early games so soon after the W-League season give the girls a chance to play high level opposition when their well and truly match ready," Matildas coach Tom Sermanni said.

"It's also a good benchmark for the quality of the W-League."

The matches will take place following the inaugural season of the W-League, which has seen Australia's top women players participate in a national league of their own over the past three months.

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