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Japan put end to Aussies' dream
 Women's Football News 28 Jun 2015
 
Australia 0 Japan 1 (Iwabuchi 87)
A late goal took Japan into the semi finals and ended the hopes of Australia in boiling hot conditions in Edmonton. 
 
The Matildas had had a fantastic run to reach the quarter finals against four very tough opponents but this may have taken its toll and they found the World Champions to be a bridge too far.
 
Japan's passing game got into its stride quite early on and a long ball forward from Nahomi Kawasumi was latched onto by Shinobu Ohno whose over Lydia Williams also cleared the bar.
 
Ohno was again to go close as Kawasumi broke down the right and crossed for the striker to sweep her shot just over at the near post.
 
Alanna Kennedy shot wide from a free kick at the other end but Japan continued to press, Aya Miyama's strike from the edge of the area being palmed over by Williams and then a Miyama corner picked out Azusa Iwashimizu whose goalbound header was blocked by Elise Kellond-Knight.
 
Australia tried to step up their game after the interval, with Ayumi Kaihori making a diving save from Samantha Kerr, but they were once again frustrated by the close passing of the Japanese which was preventing them from getting up any tempo in their game.
 
Miyama was unlucky not to hit the target with a near post flick after Saori Ariyoshi had latched onto Kawasumi's backheeled pass to cross. Kawasumi was again the creator of a glorious chance shortly afterwards, her cross from the right picking out an unmarked Yuki Ogimi who volleyed wide from in front of goal.
 
Mana Iwabuchi was denied by a brilliant goal saving tackle from Kellond-Knight but the reprieve for Australia was to be a temporary one. The resulting corner could not be cleared and the ball fell for Iwashimizu who was initially denied by a great point blank save from Williams, however the central defender was able to stab the ball back goalwards and Iwabuchi pounced to turn the ball home from five yards. 
 
Australia: Lydia Williams, Alanna Kennedy, Steph Catley, Katrina Gorry (sub Michelle Heyman 76mins), Laura Alleway, Elise Kellond-Knight, Samantha Kerr, Kyah Simon (sub Ashleigh Sykes 89mins), Caitlin Foord, Emily Van Egmond, Lisa De Vanna (sub Larissa Crummer 67mins).

Japan: Ayumi Kaihori, Saori Ariyoshi, Azusa Iwashimizu, Saki Kumagai, Aya Sameshima, Mizuho Sakaguchi (sub Homare Sawa 90mins), Yuki Ogimi, Aya Miyama, Nahomi Kawasumi, Rumi Utsugi, Shinobu Ohno (sub Mana Iwabuchi 72mins).

Player of the match: Rumi Utsugi.


 
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