Make some noise for the Green and Gold as the FIFA women's world cup kicks off across Australia. Aussie fans will have hearts in their mouths on July 20 as the Matildas face Republic of Ireland in their opening match. The Australian national team led by captain Sam Kerr is hoping to improve on a 2019 showing in France, where they advanced to the second round but were defeated by Norway in a penalty shootout. Footballers will be gunning for glory in front of sold out crowds at stadiums across Australia and New Zealand with the heart-stopping event set to be watched globally by about two billion fans. Fifteen of the games, including all of the Matildas matches, will be free to watch on Channel Seven, Seven Mate, Seven Plus and Optus Sport will stream every game. Optus Sport will also provide free access to the highlights of every match via its streaming platform and on YouTube. Sydney's Football Stadium and Stadium Australia, Brisbane Stadium, Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide and Melbourne's AAMI Park are among the venues hosting games. Key games to watch include the sold-out opening match between Australian and the Republic of Ireland on July 20. It will take place at Sydney's largest stadium with a capacity of more than 80,000 people. The FIFA fan festival is hosting viewings in all host cities across Australia. These free, all-ages outdoor viewing sessions will televise every game of the tournament on big screens. The following locations have been announced: Canberra is not a host city but the University of Canberra will host live viewing events on campus at the UC Refectory for the Matildas' matches with Ireland on July 20 and a week later with Nigeria on July 27. Pubs and private venues around Tasmania and the Northern Territory will be screening games throughout the tournament. The World Cup has expanded to 32 teams for the first time with a total of 64 games to be played. Current world champions USA won the previous two tournaments in 2015 and 2019. The defending champions find themselves in Group E along with the Netherlands, Portugal and Vietnam, while European champions England are in Group D with China, Denmark and Haiti. Australia is in Group B and New Zealand is in Group A. Football Australia said an anticipated 400,000 more women and girls could take up football over the next five years with the legacy of the women's world cup set to inspire a new generation of Matildas. Joining a global movement of female athletes prioritising comfortable uniforms, the Matildas unveiled a new kit in April that included period leak protections with materials and tailoring that specifically respond to the needs of high performance women footballers. RMIT sport management scholar Tracy Taylor said major sport events could have a positive social impact. "Major sport events such as world cups generate a lot of psychic income, it makes people feel better and that has a lasting impact because it raises community and social cohesion," she said. "Community clubs have an opportunity to capitalise on the interest that is raised through this event. But also long term because it's showcasing women's sport, what it does is it gives the community the ability to see how women can succeed in this arena." IN OTHER NEWS: The FIFA Women's World Cup occurs every four years and the 2023 edition will be its first ever showing in the southern hemisphere.