Westfield Matildas v Japan: A burgeoning rivalry

Australia's narrow loss to Japan in the 2018 AFC women’s Asian Cup final was just the latest installment in what has become a fierce rivalry between the Westfield Matildas and Japan.

Check out the close battles the two have fought in the past four years…

2018 Asian Cup Final

Japan 1-0 Australia

Substitute Kumi Yokoyama's brilliant late strike broke Australian hearts and handed Japan a second straight Asian crown.


2018 Asian Cup group match

Japan 1-1 Australia

Mizuho Sakaguchi gave Japan the lead and Australia were facing elimination from the tournament until Sam Kerr popped up to square the ledger and with it, send Australia to the semi-finals as well as the 2019 World Cup.

2017 Tournament of Nations

Australia 4-2 Japan

In one of the Westfield Matildas' most impressive performances in several years, Sam Kerr netted a first-half hat-trick with Emily van Egmond adding a fourth from the penalty spot in the second spell to send Australia on their way to victory at this four-team tournament.


2016 Olympic qualifier

Australia 3-1 Japan

In their first match in the qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Alen Stajcic's side put in a polished display with goals for Lisa de Vanna, Michelle Heyman and Katrina Gorry earning them a deserved victory.

2015 World Cup quarter-final

Japan 1-0 Australia

Japan were reigning World Cup champions when the two nations met at the quarter-final stage of the 2015 World Cup, with substitute Mana Iwabuchi's 87th-minute goal breaking Australian hearts and sending them home.


2014 Asian Cup Final

Japan 1-0 Australia

Having taken interim charge of the side for the Asian Cup, Alen Stajcic guided Australia to the final against a Japan side they had drawn 2-2 within group play. In the final, a 28th-minute goal from Azusa Iwashimizu denied them the silverware.