AFC Women's Asian Cup final preview: Westfield Matildas v Japan

The Westfield Matildas will seek to usher in a new era of sustained success when they meet Japan in the AFC Women's Asian Cup final on Saturday morning (AEST).

Yet to hit full stride in Jordan, Alen Stajcic's side have nevertheless proven their resilience and are on the cusp of joining just three other nations to have won the tournament on multiple occasions.

Japan have the same ambition, though, and after a tightly-contested draw in the group stage, the stage is set for a nail-biting decider.


Amman International Stadium, Amman, Jordan

Date: Friday, 20 April local (Saturday, 21 April AEST)

Kick-off: 8:00pm local (3:00am AEST)

Broadcast: Live on Fox Sports Football 501


These sides met just seven days ago as Sam Kerr's last-gasp equaliser secured the Westfield Matildas a 1-1 draw that saw them top Group B on goal difference.

And the Westfield Matildas have enjoyed the better of the recent meetings.

Prior to last weekend's draw, Australia have beaten Japan in the two previous meeting, including a 4-2 triumph at the Tournament of Nations in the US in 2017.

The Westfield Matildas also beat Japan 3-1 in qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Lisa De Vanna
Lisa De Vanna is set to resume her battle with Japan captain Saki Kumagai.


Stajcic has confirmed several members of his squad are still grappling with "little niggles" they've carried at various stages of the campaign.

It didn't help that Australia were forced to undergo a gruelling 120 minutes in seeing off a plucky Thailand in the semi-finals.

Lydia Williams should step back into the team after watching that match from the bench, while other experienced heads like Steph Catley, Emily van Egmond and Clare Polkinghorne will also come under strong consideration.

Sam Kerr was among the players to be thrown on from the bench in order to overcome Thailand and Stajcic and has been hesitant to confirm whether she will start at Amman International Stadium.


Australia: 6

Japan: 11


Going one better than they did four years ago has been a major motivation for this Westfield Matildas side and they stand on the brink of doing just that in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Standing in their way are the same team that defeated them in 2014.

While Australia on scraped through their semi-final against Thailand, you can be sure they'll produce their best when it matters most. 

 This squad knows what it takes to win tournaments and big matches - as they showed us at last year's Tournament of Nations - and the chance of bringing the Asian Cup back to Australia will be a huge motivator for them.

Bring it on!!