Australia lost 1-0 to Nadeshiko in the continental decider, thanks to substitute Kumi Yokoyama's 83rd minute goal.

The Matildas dominated play and the chances, including spurning a 15th minute Elise Kellond-Knight spotkick, while Emily van Egmond hit the woodwork in the second half.

PHOTO GALLERY: Matildas v Japan

"I think just being clinical in the final third," Polkinghorne told Fox Sports when asked where they went wrong.

"We put them under a lot of pressure and created alot of chances, they took their chance. That's what we needed to do."

The Brisbane Roar defender said their wastefulness in front of goal was an issue throughout the tournament.

"Once you get one, the floodgates open," she said.

"The positive thing is we're creating the chances."

Polkinghorne said the game may have gone down a different path had Australia converted their early penalty opportunity, bemoaning the miss.

"The first 10-15 minutes we really put them under pressure and we got that penalty," she said.

"Had we got that, it may have changed the game a little bit.

"In saying that, we kept pushing and created a lot."

PHOTO GALLERY: Matildas v Japan