This was a rematch of the tight 2018 Asian Cup Final (which Japan edged 1-0, in Jordan, in April) and revenge of sorts, for Australia, as they again proved they have the cutting edge to find goals against elite opponents. Japan, playing their trademark, neat possession-based football, created half-chances but both teams went in at the break scoreless, at Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois.
However, within two minutes of the restart defender Alana Kennedy had netted from a free-kick for Alen Stajcic’s side and then in the 81st minute, Sam Kerr’s searing hot form continued with a trademark finish to seal the 2-0 win.
The Matildas finished the three-game tournament undefeated (with two wins and a draw v USA) but with USA facing Brazil in the following game of the double-header, was it enough to retain their Tournament of Nations trophy? (Images: Daniela Porcelli/@joerdeli1)
Match: Australia vs. Japan
Date: August 2, 2018
Competition: Tournament of Nations
Venue: Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.
Kickoff: 5:45 p.m. CT
Weather: 85 degrees, mostly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
AUS 0 2 2
JPN 0 0 0
AUS – Alanna Kennedy 47th minute
AUS – Sam Kerr 81
AUS: 1-Lydia Williams (capt.); 21-Ellie Carpenter, 14-Alanna Kennedy, 8-Elise Kellond-Knight, 4-Clare Polkinghorne (22-Larissa Crummer, 29); 19-Katrina Gorry (23-Alex Chidiac, 79); 6-Chloe Logarzo (9-Caitlin Foord, 68), 17-Kyah Simon (3-Amy Sayer, 90), 11-Lisa De Vanna (15-Emily Gielnik, 29), 16-Hayley Raso; 20-Sam Kerr
Subs not used: 18-Mackenzie Arnold, 5-Mary Fowler, 7-Laura Alleway
Head coach: Alen Stajcic
JPN: 21-Chika Hirao; 15-Moeno Sakaguchi (12-Hina Sugita, 71), 3-Aya Sameshima (capt.), 4-Shiori Miyake, 22-Risa Shimizu; 6-Saori Ariyoshi, 16-Rin Sumida (19-Rika Masuya, 46); 14-Yui Hasegawa (9-Nahomi Kawasumi, 85), 20-Kumi Yokoyama (24-Narumi Miura, 46), 7-Emi Nakajima (8-Mana Iwabuchi, 46); 11-Mina Tanaka (13-Yuika Sugasawa, 46)
Subs not used: 1-Sakiko Ikeda, 2-Maya Doko, 17-Yuka Momiki, 18-Ayaka Yamashita, 23-Aimi Kunitake
Head coach: Asako Takakura