Aussie supporters sabotaged the Lionesses' World Cup glory bid before a ball had been kicked – by swiping England fans' seats for the semi.
England followers were already set to be wildly outnumbered after being handed just 1,970 tickets for Wednesday's showdown in the 83,000-capacity Allianz Stadium.
But Aussie fans really put the boot in by managing to snaffle tickets for seats in the tiny section of the ground that should have been reserved for supporters of the Lionesses.
That means Sarina Wiegman’s players will walk out to a stadium almost entirely decked out in Australian gold for the biggest match in the long-standing sporting rivalry between the two nations.
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Only England fans were supposed to have been able to obtain the tickets using the online access code 'Lioness'. But the Aussies rumbled the code and posted it on the Matildas' Facebook page.
Supporters Down Under immediately started buying up seats in the Lionesses’ section of the ground. One fan said: "The code was just meant to be for England supporters. Matildas fans were spreading the code last night and now they are all sold out for actual England supporters."
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Another said: "Scored these English supporter tickets last night. Proudly going to be wearing our Matildas gear." England fans vented their frustration on social media. One said: "I’m actually raging. I hope anyone that has a ticket in those sections gives them as much s*** as possible! So livid."
An FA spokesman said: "We are working with Fifa to review this ticketing process going forward." While Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has promised the nation a public holiday if the Matildas win the World Cup.
Even Aussie cricketer David Warner took a pre-match swipe at England. He is still seething England were given a much newer ball when the old one became worn during the recent fifth and final Ashes Test.
The Aussies claimed the ball enabled England to bowl them out, win the match and tie the series 2-2.
Warner tweeted: "An early good luck to the Matildas. Just keep an eye out in case the Poms ask to change the ball."
Despite the hostility, bookmaker Coral made the Lionesses 8/13 odds-on favourites to win the semi and reach Sunday’s final against Spain who KO’d Sweden 2-1 in a thriller on Tuesday. Coral spokesman John Hill said pre-match betting had been one-way traffic for England’.
More than two million fans are expected to pour into pubs across England for the 11am kick-off – spending more than £32m on a brunch-time booze fest.
Bars also expect to flog 75 million cups of coffee. Another 8.4 million will watch from home.
According to retail website VoucherCodes the match will give the UK economy a £115million shot in the arm with fans stocking up on food and booze, Lioness kits, souvenirs and memorabilia – and even splashing out on new TVs on which to watch the action.
Millions are expected to throw sickies though bosses have been urged to give workers the chance to tune in.
Anita Naik, savings expert at VoucherCodes, said: "After success in the quarter-finals against Colombia, all eyes will be on the Lionesses as they try to secure their spot in the final with fan participation expected to hit the highest figures we’ve seen all tournament.
"Despite being cautious with their money it’s great to see fans are still planning to head to their local hospitality venue to cheer on their team."
England star Keira Walsh insisted the pressure was all on Australia. It’s amazing to see for women’s football the amount of support Australia are getting. That is a different thing to cope with."
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