A classy Westfield Matildas have defeated Japan 4-2 in an entertaining clash at the Tournament of Nations, with on-fire Sam Kerr smashing a first-half hat-trick in San Diego on Monday morning (AEST).
After Friday’s incredible high following an historic first-ever win over the USA, the Aussies continued their eye-catching form on a warm day in California to make it two wins from two in the tournament.
The clash between two of Asia’s big guns in women’s football lived up to its billing with an open, entertaining game full of technical quality across the pitch.
But Australia again proved too good for Japan after the Matildas knocked Nadeshiko out of the Olympics qualifiers in Osaka last year.
The Matildas will now go into their final game against powerhouse Brazil on Friday (Australian time) in Carson confident of making it three wins from three after their breakout showing at this tournament – and with Sam Kerr on fire up front, few teams can stop them right now.
STORY OF THE GAME
►Three goals in the opening 15 minutes had the fans on their feet, with Australia conceding first before hitting back twice in quick time thanks to classy Kerr, who made it a hat-trick just before the break.
Japan, Mina Tanaka 5’, 0-1
Japan had got in behind to win a corner, they worked it short and the cross was headed on to Mina Tanaka who flicked it past Mackenzie Arnold for the opener.
Australia, Sam Kerr, 10’ 1-1
Kennedy with the brilliant long ball over the top for the pacy Raso, who got in behind her full back, and a simple low cross found Kerr ahead of her defender and she couldn’t miss, sweeping home the equaliser.
Australia, Sam Kerr, 14’ 2-1
A defensive howler saw Japan caught in possession around 30m out. Kerr took advantage, burst through and slotted past Ikeda,
Australia, Sam Kerr, 43’ 3-1
Kerr got in between her defenders to burst through again. Her one-on-one with Ikeda was blocked by the Japan keeper before sweeping home the rebound to make it a hat-trick inside 40 mins. Cue her trademark somersault celebration.
Australia, Emily Van Egmond, 62’ 4-1
A handball in Japan’s box and the ice-cool Van Egmond made no mistake.
Japan, Momiki, 90+2’ 4-2
Neat interplay and a low shot that looked like it took a deflection, to beat Mackenzie Arnold for a late consolation.