Sam Kerr (Photo: Getty Images / Icon Sportswire)

Australia defeat Japan 4-2 in Game 2

Australia claimed their second win at the Tournament of Nations with a convincing 4-2 win over Japan in San Diego, California.

A first half hattrick from in form striker Sam Kerr set up the Australian victory with Emily van Egmond scoring from the penalty spot in the second half.

Australia opened the match brightly but it Japan who opened the scoring in the sixth minute when a short corner found Kumi Yokoyama who put a ball into the penalty area.  Nana Ichise flicked on the ball and Mina Tanaka deflected it past Mackenzie Arnold in the Australian goal.

Not long after Australia were level when Alanna Kennedy played a lovely diagonal ball to the run of Hayley Raso,  The Portland Thorns player blew past her Japanese marker before sliding a ball across to Kerr.  The striker calmly finished just yards from the goalmouth.

On top, Australia pressed their advantage when the hardworking Kerr dispossessed Japanes defender Riho Sakamoto before taking off for the goal of Sakiko Ikeda.  Kerr finished beautifully for her second and to give Australia the lead.

In the 26th minute Ikeda went head to head again with Kerr.  This time she came out on top to stop the Australian for that one moment.

Nakasato tried to find a way into the game for Japan from distance but her effort flew well wide of Arnold’s goal.

The Sky Blue forward was not to be denied her hattrick and in the 43rd minute she latched onto an Elise Kellond-Knight clearance before taking off on a counter attack.  Kerr’s initial shot was saved by Ikeda but the striker was not going to miss the second chance before wheeling away and celebrating in her trademark style.

Australia almost had a fourth just before the break with Emily Gielnik’s well struck free kick struck the crossbar past a beaten Ikeda.

Well in control, the Matildas were not done yet creating several early chances.  Australian combination play in the 56th minute ended in a Van Egmond shot over the bar.

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On the hour, Japan finally found a way in behind the Australian defence when  Tanaka put in a great run and ball but Nakajima couldn’t quite connect to the Australians’ relief.

The 61st minute the Australian pressure told as a handball saw Van Egmond step up to the spot and the designated penalty taker made no mistake.

A couple of subs brought in fresh legs for Australia and fresh chances in the 77th minute when Lisa De Vanna struck her effort just wide with an advancing Ikeda.

Minutes later Katrina Gorry fired in a good cross to the backpost with first match heroine Tameka Butt heading her effort over the bar.

Japan salvaged a late goal when goalscorer Tanaka back-heeled into the path of Momiki who again put a deflected effort past Arnold.

Australia’s 6 points see them on top of the Tournament of Nations table with Brazil left to play. A win or draw will see the Matildas claim in the inaugural tournament title.

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Australia will meet Brazil on 4 August with kick off at 9.15 am.


MATCH DETAILS

Japan           2 (Tanaka 6′, Momiki 90+3′)
Australia     4 (Kerr 11’/16’/43′, Van Egmond 62′)

July 30, 2017
Qualcomm Stadium; San Diego, Calif.
Kickoff: 2:15 p.m. PT
Att: 9,597

Australian line up: 18-Mackenzie Arnold; 4-Clare Polkinghorn, 7-Steph Catley (capt.), 14-Alanna Kennedy; 6-Chole Logarzo (9-Caitlin Foord, 62), 8-Elise Kellond-Knight, 10-Emily Van Egmond (13-Tameka Butt, 74), 19-Katrina Gorry (22-Alex Chidiac, 89); 15-Emily Gielnik (11-Lisa De Vanna, 67), 16-Hayley Raso (21-Ellie Carpenter, 76), 20-Sam Kerr (17-Princess Ibini, 83)

Subs not used: 1-Lydia Williams; 2-Gema Simon, 3-Caitlin Cooper, 5-Laura Alleway

Japan line up: 1-Sakiko Ikeda; 19-Hikaru Kitagawa (4-Miho Manya, 84), 23-Nana Ichise, 8-Riho Sakamoto (6-Rumi Utsugi, 46), 2-Hikari Takagi (17-Yui Hasegawa, 46); 12-Hikaru Naomoto (20-Ayumi Oya, 46), 14-Yu Nakasoto, 16-Rin Sumida, 7-Emi Nakajima (capt.) (5-Madoka Haji, 78), 9-Kumi Yokoyama (15-Yuka Momiki, 55), 11-Mina Tanaka

Subs not used: 3-Aya Sameshima, 10-Mizuho Sakaguchi, 13-Yuika Sugasawa, 18-Ayaka Yamashita, 21-Ayaka Saitoh, 22-Shiho Tomari

About ANN ODONG

ANN ODONG
Ann is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TWG.