2018 Women's International Friendly, Tournament of Nations
  • Alanna Kennedy (47')
  • Sam Kerr (81')

Matildas get sweet revenge against Japan in Tournament of Nations

Samantha Kerr celebrates after scoring a goal for Australia against Japan. Getty Images

The Matildas have beaten their Asian Cup conquerors Japan 2-0 but lost out on the Tournament of Nations trophy despite an unbeaten campaign.

Alanna Kennedy's free kick goal in the 47th minute and a late strike from Samantha Kerr proved the difference in an evenly-matched contest on Friday morning (AEST) in Bridgeview, Illinois.

It was sweet revenge for the Matildas, who dominated Japan in April's Asian Cup final but slumped to a 1-0 defeat.

But the 4-1 win by the United States over Brazil in the day's second game meant the Matildas were unable to retain the trophy they won last year in the round-robin format event.

Australia beat Brazil 3-1 in their opening match and drew 1-1 with the Americans on Monday (AEST) after conceding a late goal from a corner kick.

The Matildas were disjointed early against Japan -- so much so that coach Alen Stajcic made a double substitution in the 29th minute, sending on Larissa Crummer and Emily Gielnik for Lisa De Vanna and Clare Polkinghorne.

Soon afterwards, Gielnik lashed wide a loose clearance from Japanese goalkeeper Chika Hirao, but it fell back into Hiaro's possession.

Three minutes later Matildas custodian Lydia Williams tipped a dipping Kumi Yokoyama free kick over the bar.

But defender Kennedy's dead-ball effort just after the break put Australia in front, with her shot from the corner of the penalty area beating Hirao at her near post.

Shortly afterwards Samantha Kerr and Hayley Raso both went close to making it 2-0 with shots on goal within three minutes of each other - the former's header was saved while the latter's effort was deflected wide.

Kerr, who was playing at the same venue her NWSL club Chicago Red Stars call home, eventually doubled the advantage in the 81st minute.

Hirao rushed out of her box in an attempt to cut off a through ball but misjudged it badly, presenting Kerr with the chance to roll the ball into an empty net.