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Kuala Lumpur: With less than eight months until the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan 2018, the-AFC.com reviews the performances of Asia’s highest-ranked women’s teams at the Tournament of Nations

Australia: Champions; 3W 0D 0L

Results

W 1-0 v United States (Butt 67’)

W 4-2 v Japan (Kerr 10’, 14’, 43’, van Egmond 62’ pen)

W 6-1 v Brazil (De Vanna 7’, 34’, Foord 32’ 68, Gorry 41’, Kerr 81’)

Alen Stajcic’s team installed themselves as early favourites for next year’s Women’s Asian Cup with three spectacular, and historically significant, wins in eight days to secure their first international silverware since 2010.

The opening day triumph over the United States was the first in Matildas' history, and one that confirmed their ascent to the top of the women’s game, but the comprehensive wins over Japan and Brazil that followed turned heads throughout the globe.

Their 4-2 victory over Japan was Australia’s largest margin of victory against their AFC rivals since 1984, while the 6-1 demolition of Brazil was unprecedented in Australia’s history, and Brazil’s heaviest defeat to any team since 1999.

Sam Kerr played a pivotal role in Australia's Tournament of Nations triumph.

With world class talents like Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord, Katrina Gorry and Emily van Egmond all still under 25, there appears to be few limits to what can be achieved by what is emerging as an Australian golden generation.


Japan: Third place: 0W 1D 2L

Results

D 1-1 v Brazil (Momiki 63’)
L 2-4 v Australia (Tanaka 6’, Momiki 90+2’)
L 0-3 v United States

The results didn’t go Japan’s way, but Asako Takakura’s young side is rebuilding, and will have taken valuable lessons from the experience.

The Nadeshiko went into the tournament with only a handful of players with over 20 caps to their name, and an almost entirely new defence.

At times their inexperience showed, and mistakes at both ends of the pitch were punished, particularly by the Australians and Americans, but Japan showed glimpses of the quality and style which saw them become World Champions and reach two consecutive global finals.

Yuka Momiki is part of Japan's rising generation. 

One positive was the international coming of age of NTV Beleza attacking duo Mina Tanaka and Yuka Momiki, who both appear poised to add to a strike force which had been reliant on the goals of Kumi Yokoyama.

Next on the road to Jordan

Australia will renew their rivalry with Brazil, this time with two home friendlies in September, while Japan will meet Women’s Euro 2017 qualifiers Switzerland on home soil in October.

Elsewhere, fellow Jordan 2018 qualifiers Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines will all cross paths in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Photos: AFP

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