Australia is collectively holding its breath this week as fans wait to see the Matildas fight for their spot in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final.
The Matildas will take on England in the semi-final, kicking off at 8pm Wednesday – fresh off the back of a nail-biting penalty shootout win against France.
The clash is expected to draw record crowds to public viewing venues around the country – and Melburnians have plenty of options to soak up the World Cup action with other fans. More sites have been made available across the city to watch the semi-final live.
Here are some of the city’s best spots to watch the national team as they endeavour to cement their place in the World Cup final on August 20.
AAMI Park (or Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, as FIFA calls it) will join Federation Square as the second major Melbourne live site for the semi-final. The stadium has a capacity of 30,000 and its video screens were updated as part of refurbishments for the World Cup.
After Saturday night’s clash with France, Premier Daniel Andrews announced AAMI Park would be opened up for fans who wanted to watch the semi-final.
“Big game needs a bigger stadium,” Andrews said. “AAMI Park. Wednesday night. Be there.”
Cameo Cinemas, Classic Cinemas
1628 Burwood Highway, Belgrave and 9 Gordon Street, Elsternwick
The free event has no spots left at Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn, so fans are encouraged to get in quick.
Winter Night Market
Queen Street, Melbourne
Matilda mania will take over the Queen Victoria Market this Wednesday, with a big screen airing the World Cup semi-final clash against England from 8pm.
Live entertainment and the market’s best food and drink will be available from 5pm to 8pm.
From the sky
Tillies fans with flights scheduled during the highly anticipated match may also be able to catch the game and, with any luck, recreate Emirates passengers’ Saturday night quarter-finals experience.
Some major international airlines that fly from Australia, including Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines, offer live TV on select aircraft via their in-flight entertainment.
No Australian carriers currently offer live TV, though passengers will be able to stream the game via the 7plus app on their personal devices on Wi-Fi enabled flights.
98 Chapel Street, Windsor
With all of Australia gearing up to watch the Matildas play the Lionesses, some of Melbourne’s favourite restaurants plan to put it up on a big screen so that diners don’t miss the action.
Hawker Hall is inviting fans in to its Windsor food and beer hall to see all the action. Book here.
80 Collins Street, Melbourne
Diners are invited to enjoy a Japanese-inspired menu flavours alongside a range of specially curated cocktails and stand-out sakes, all whilst cheering on our girls.
Fed Square’s FIFA Fan Festival
Swanston and Flinders Streets
More than 90,000 fans have cheered on teams from around the world at Federation Square so far, and Wednesday night’s final will likely attract the biggest crowd yet.
Wednesday night’s semi-final match between the Matildas and England will be shown on the big screen and in The Edge and The Atrium, alongside a program of live music, entertainment, food and drinks.
Patrick Northeast Drive, Narre Warren.
Bunjil Place has been named an official FIFA live site for the Women’s World Cup.
The Matildas and England match will be up in lights on the big outdoor screen from 8pm on Wednesday.
Beer Deluxe Fed Square
To get the Fed Square atmosphere while downing a beverage and sitting on your own table, book a spot at Beer Deluxe.
Great Northern Hotel
644 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North
Residents of the inner north have a number of prime pub options. Those not wanting to battle for a seat can ensure their spot by booking a stool in front of the screen.
The Great Northern has screened each of the Australian team’s matches as well as all other free-to-air games throughout the series.
With eight flat-screen televisions and three projectors both inside and outside in the courtyard, fans shouldn’t find it too difficult to get in to see the Matildas.
The Empress Hotel
714 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy North
This Fitzroy North favourite has not only been screening each of Australia’s matches throughout the World Cup month, it is also offering a limited-release brew from another Melbourne stalwart.
The Empress will pour the Golden Boot Draught from Stomping Ground brewery in Collingwood in honour of the Matildas.
The venue has large screens in every area, including a huge projector screen in the heated beer garden, which has a retractable roof to keep everyone snug.
The Sporting Globe Richmond
288 Bridge Road, Richmond
It’s in the name. The Sporting Globe has more than 50 screens, including private booths with touchscreen TVs.
Whether waiting at the bar or queueing for the loo, fans won’t miss a minute of the match at this sport fans’ favourite.
College Lawn Hotel
36 Greville Street, Prahran
The College Lawn Hotel has one of the best beer gardens and has invited fans into their backyard to cheer on the Australian team.
Fans wanting to catch the match indoors, can also watch the Aussies from the lounge or public bar.
Imperial Hotel, Bourke Street
2-8 Bourke Street, Melbourne
The Imperial Hotel boasts a rooftop bar to rival Melbourne’s best, providing a perfect place to watch the World Cup while overlooking the city.
One of the city’s oldest pubs, the Imperial expects big crowds when it shows the Matildas take on England on Wednesday.
The Duke of Wellington
146 Flinders Street, Melbourne
The Duke has been bringing good vibes to the Melbourne CBD since its establishment in 1853.
Melbourne’s oldest licensed pubs has kept pace with sporting fever and will screen every Matildas game live – and loud.
The Park Hotel Werribee
12 Watton Street, Werribee
Werribee’s Park Hotel is gearing up for a busy night on Wednesday. The hotel will show the quarter-final match in its beer garden on the big screen and one multiple televisions throughout the venue.
The owners have recommended making a booking to ensure fans don’t miss out.
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