Australia Defeats Japan 2-0 to Finish 2018 Tournament of Nations

Alana Kennedy Scores Free Kick Just After Halftime; Sam Kerr Adds Clincher in 81st Minute

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (Aug. 2, 2018) – Australia downed Japan, 2-0, with two second-half goals on a hot afternoon to conclude the 2018 Tournament of Nations for both teams.

Defender Alana Kennedy broke the deadlock less than two minutes into the second half, placing a perfect free kick into the lower left corner from just outside the left corner of the penalty area. It was the fifth international goal for the Orlando Pride center back.

Sam Kerr put the game away in the 81st on one of her classic slashing runs, beating two defenders and the goalkeeper on a counter attack before scoring into the open net. It was Kerr’s 26th international goal in 70 caps and came in her home stadium where she plays in the NWSL for the Chicago Red Stars.

After being out-shot 6-4 in the first half, the Matildas turned it on in the second, piling up a 14-3 shot margin while also going close several more times, including a Kerr header that skimmed off the left post.

Japan had some quality possession during the match, and put together some promising attacks, but Australia had the more dangerous scoring chances to record the deserved win and force the USA to defeat Brazil by two or more goals in the nightcap in order to win the tournament.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
AUS – Alanna Kennedy, 47th minute: Australia started the second half with some energy as Sam Kerr burst into the left side of the box. Her shot was blocked, but the ball bounced out to the top of the penalty area on the left side where halftime sub Narumi Miura took down Chloe Logarzo. Kennedy stepped up and drilled her right-footed shot past the defensive wall and into the lower left corner at the near post.

AUS – Sam Kerr, 81st minute: Japan was pushing for an equalizer and Australia scored against the run of play on a long ball over the top that Kerr ran down and deftly touched by a sliding defender. Goalkeeper Chika Hirao, playing in her first cap for Japan, and who otherwise had a fine match, raced far out of her goal. Kerr was quicker once again, touching the ball around her to the right. Kerr then evaded one more Japanese defender before rolling the ball into the open net from 20 yards out.

- Tournament of Nations Match Report -

Match: Australia vs. Japan
Date: August 2, 2018
Competition: Tournament of Nations
Venue: Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.
Kickoff: 5:45 p.m. CT
Attendance: 11,922
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

Lineups:
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

Stats Summary: AUS / JPN
Shots: 19 / 9
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves:  3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 9 / 9
Offside: 3 / 5

Misconduct Summary
AUS – Hayley Raso (caution)                         18th minute
JPN – Narumi Miura (caution)                                    46
AUS – Alanna Kennedy (caution)                              75                                               

Officials:
Referee:  Katja Koroleva (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alicia Messer (USA)
Assistant Referee 2:  Jennifer Garner (USA)
4th Official:  Cecile Hinds (TRI)

2018 Tournament of Nations Standings

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

Australia

3

2

0

1

6

2

4

7

United States

2

1

0

1

5

3

2

4

Brazil

2

1

1

0

3

4

-1

3

Japan

3

0

3

0

3

9

-6

0