Australia have missed a golden opportunity to head into next year’s Women’s World Cup as Asian champions after suffering an 11th-hour defeat against Japan in Amman.

Japan substitute Kumi Yokoyama crashed home an impressive winner against the run of play with six minutes remaining after the Matildas had dominated large chunks of the match against the 2011 World Cup winners.

It was a much-improved performance from Australia after some indifferent performances at the eight-nation tournament after needing penalties to see off unfancied Thailand in the semi-final.

The Matildas were assertive from the outset and constantly looked a threat while dominating large periods of play.

But a failure to convert in front of goal proved their downfall. Elise Kellond-Knight had her first-half penalty saved.

Sam Kerr had a first-half strike smartly saved by impressive Japan goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita, while Emily van Egmond crashed an effort against the crossbar in the second half.

“We put them under a lot of pressure in the final third, creating a lot of chances, and they took their chances, and that is what we need to do,” said Australia defender Clare Polkinghorne.

“In the opening period we put them under a lot of pressure and won that penalty, which if we had scored might have changed things.

“The positive is that we are creating chances and on another day it would be enough.”

The defeat meant Australia missed a rare opportunity to be champions of Asia in male and female football after the Socceroos’ 2015 triumph.

The Matildas were the first Australian team to win the Asian title in 2010.

The result continues a poor run against Japan for the Matildas, who lost by the same 1-0 scoreline in consecutive Asian Cup finals, as well as at the 2015 World Cup.

Australia were outplayed in that defeat, but the Matildas turned the tables on Japan this time in all areas except where it mattered most.

Disappointed Australia coach Alen Stajcic took positives from his side’s performance ahead of next year’s World Cup in France.

“I thought that was our best performance of the tournament and the best we have played for a while,” he said.

“We dominated all over the field and created a number of chances, but just couldn’t execute in front of goal.

“For us there are a lot of positives and there are a lot of good things to take away.”

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The Crowd Says (13)

  • April 21st 2018 @ 10:10am
    LuckyEddie said | April 21st 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

    I would love to know the ave crowds at this event in Jordan. FIFA and the ‘media’ hailed Jordan getting this event as a game breaker for equality womens rights etc. , but it was not. From what I saw the ave crowd per game would have been one but possibly two hundred.

    In other word a flop but due to PC dogma no journalist would be game to even suggest that.

    • Roar Rookie

      April 21st 2018 @ 1:26pm
      Waz said | April 21st 2018 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

      Don’t underestimate the impact just playing the tournament in countries like this has though nor the experience the ladies gained from being there – the photos from the Dead Sea were impressive and that’s just one aspect but it’s “bucket list” stuff.

      And it’s far from a flop, tv ratings for 3 am games were matching or exceeding some HAL and Super Rugby games, exceeded most if not all NBL games, and weren’t far off the NBL GF viewing – and that’s before FTA figures were added.

      • April 22nd 2018 @ 4:38pm
        LuckyEddie said | April 22nd 2018 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

        What does a visit to the Dead Sea have to do with football.? As for the crowds you are kidding they get a bigger crowd at my pubs dart night.

        AS for the ‘bucket list’ – how about they pay for it.

    • April 22nd 2018 @ 4:07pm
      Kangajets said | April 22nd 2018 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

      Always something wrong Eddie

      Great experience for the players imo

    • April 23rd 2018 @ 9:09pm
      Martin said | April 23rd 2018 @ 9:09pm | ! Report

      Attendance of 3,065 for the final. I think it was the final ?… didn’t see a trophy presentation.

  • Roar Guru

    April 21st 2018 @ 4:41pm
    Ben of Phnom Penh said | April 21st 2018 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

    Good effort from the Matildas, especially the turn around in their performance.

    5 games in 14 days is a tough ask. The Australian, Japanese, Thai and Chinese squads will be a rather tired bunch and no doubt nursing a plethora of niggling injuries. This tournament really needs to be at least a week longer.

  • Roar Rookie

    April 21st 2018 @ 5:15pm
    Waz said | April 21st 2018 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

    Bizarre choice of penalty taker?

  • April 21st 2018 @ 10:38pm
    rajiv said | April 21st 2018 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

    Can anyone tell me why the penalty taker was the penalty taker ?
    Thought there were better choices but what do I know

  • April 22nd 2018 @ 8:33am
    BrainsTrust said | April 22nd 2018 @ 8:33am | ! Report

    The honeymoon is over, teams know they can easily nullify this Matildas team by keeping defenders back and marking Kerr. Why they have also adopted the Ange philosophy is a complete mystery, they haven;t got the best technical players in the womens game to do that like the USA or Japan . Once you hear the coach has players with niggles on the field you know they are an idiot and should be sacked. Ross Aloisi it was obvious he was leading the show when he was there. I would say long ball is the way to go, bring in Heyman pump the ball long and have Kerr and Vanna run off that while keeping the rest back to defend.

    • April 22nd 2018 @ 5:46pm
      Betty B said | April 22nd 2018 @ 5:46pm | ! Report


  • Roar Guru

    April 22nd 2018 @ 2:22pm
    Ben of Phnom Penh said | April 22nd 2018 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

    A very interesting development at the AFC, the introduction of an Asian women’s club competition. The pilot phase should start soon, though what format it will be remains to be seen. Hopefully it results in a full regional club competition in the near future.

    • April 22nd 2018 @ 4:40pm
      LuckyEddie said | April 22nd 2018 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

      Who is paying for it?

    • April 22nd 2018 @ 5:49pm
      Betty B said | April 22nd 2018 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

      I’m quite sure just last week that I was reading about a national team world competition. Add this club competition and the calendar fills up. Let’s hope they don’t swamp the further development of national club competitions.

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