Australia are one win away from a place at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games after defeating Korea Republic 2-0 at Yanmar Stadium Nagai in Osaka, Japan.

It was a fast start for the Australians with Kyah Simon following up her hattrick against Vietnam with an opener just 48 seconds into the match, while Emily van Egmond doubled the advantage within 15 minutes.

A misplaced pass by the Korean midfield set Chloe Logarzo streaming into space. The forward turned and played Lisa De Vanna into space with the striker's shot finding the far post, only to see the on rushing Simon follow up.

Up and coming Korean star Jang Selgi found some space in the Australian defence and won a corner in the 12th minute but Australia were able to clear their lines.

A minute later and another lapse saw the Matildas double their lead after De Vanna was released with a switch ball.

Streaming into the box, De Vanna was felled with the referee quick to point to the spot. In her 50th international, midfielder Van Egmond went low and hard to beat the correctly diving Kim Jung-mi.

Shell-shocked, Korea Republic looked to find a way back into the match and the 20th minute saw Hwang Boram get up for a header but only to hit it wide of Lydia Williams' goal.

Van Egmond looked to add to the Australians lead when she spotted Kim Jung-mi off her line. The attacking midfielder launched an audacious 40 yard effort with Kim scrambling back just in time.

Late in the half, some irritation crept into the match with fouls aplenty from both sides as Korea picked up their share of possession.

Minutes before the break, Jeon Ga Eul tried her luck at a long range effort with the crossbar keeping Australia's 2-0 lead at the interval.

“To be able to battle out a game like that and probably not be at your best but still dominate patches and be effective shows how far we’ve come and certainly that will hold us in good stead when we are faced with tough battles like that.”

The second half saw the two teams struggle to gain ascendancy in the midfield with neither able to find much of a rhythm.

With two physical teams on the park, the game got fiery with tackles flying in from both sides.

Australia gained a period of possession with Caitlin Foord putting the ball in the back of the net in the 62nd minute only to see it called back for an obvious offside call.

The 67th minute saw a late challenge from Kellond-Knight earn Korea a free kick with Jung Seol-bin swirling a strike in from 25 yards out over the head of Williams.

The hardworking Logarzo was in the action again 10 minutes later as she laid off a beautiful ball to Foord who earned a corner for Australia only to see it cleared by the Korean defence.

Substitute Lee Geummin called Lydia Williams into action in the 79th minute as she worked her way into the box and shot near post which Williams parried away.

End to end action followed with Logarzo and Foord again teaming up with the later blocked by the on rushing Kim Jung-mi.

Australia saw out the game to claim a third straight win to remain on top of the table and two points clear of second placed China.

“We’re in a good position now with three good wins and the players worked really hard for that victory,” said Alen Stajcic.

“I thought it was a really tough game and it could have gone either way. Korea Republic gave us a very good run and they certainly dominated large parts of the game and were maybe unlucky at times but we looked good on the counter attack and we were dangerous when we could get forward and in behind.”

“But full credit to Korea Republic because I thought they were a really good opponent tonight.”

Next up for the Matildas is DPR Korea with a win over the Koreans sealing a berth at the Rio 2016 Olympics.


Korea Republic     0

Australia                  2 (Simon 1', Van Egmond 14'(p)

Friday 4 March 2016

Yanmar Stadium Nagai, Osaka

Kick-Off: 7:35pm local time (9:35pm AEDT)

Australia line-up: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 4.Clare POLKINGHORNE, 5.Laura ALLEWAY, 6.Chloe LOGARZO,  7.Steph CATLEY, 8.Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 10.Emily VAN EGMOND (16.Michelle HEYMAN 74'), 11.Lisa DE VANNA (9.Caitlin FOORD 55'), 14.Alanna KENNEDY, 17.Kyah SIMON (2. Ashleigh SYKES 86'), 19.Katrina GORRY

Substitutes not used: 12.Casey DUMONT (gk), 18.Mackenzie ARNOLD (gk), 3.Caitlin COOPER,  13.Tameka BUTT, 15.Emily GIELNIK, 20.Ellie CARPENTER

Yellow cards: Simon 39'

Red cards: Nil

Korea Republic line-up: 18. KIM Jung-mi (GK), 5. KIM Do Yeon, 6. HWANG Boram, 7. JEON Ga Eul (12. YOO Younga 75'), 8. CHO So-yun (C) 10. JI So-yun, 11. JUNG Seol-bin, 13. JANG Selgi, 16. LEE Sodam (9. LEE Geummin 46'), 17. KIM Soo-yun, 20. KIM Hye-ri (14. LEE Min A 46')

Substitutes not used: 1. YOON Young Geul (GK), 19. KANG Gaae (GK), 2 SEO Hyunsook, 3. LIM Seon joo, 4. SIN Damyeong, 15. LEE Youngju

Yellow cards: Jang Selgi 72'

Red cards: Nil