2015 WWC: Heartbreak in the Heat for the Matildas; Japan’s goal at the death sends Australia home

30 Jun

3467The 21st meeting of the Australians and Japanese occurred on a steamy hot day in Edmonton. While neither team complained about the heat and the turf, it was reported to be 82 degrees but the turf was measuring 150F. CRAZY!

From the word go, both sides had chances at goal, testing each other’s defenses. Both Ogimi and Kerr had potentially dangerous shots within minutes of the first whistle. While the Australian midfield continued their tremendous work rate, this match did not see the commanding performances of late and Australia often gave up possession. This allowed Japan to continually use long balls to try to get behind the Australian defense. Japan also had great freedom along the flanks with Ogimi on the left and Ohno along the right.

Both sides were evenly matched in strength and really the only clumsy foul came in the 26th minute against Iwashimizu who body checked Kerr and received a yellow. However, Iwashimizu had a very nice slide tackle on Simon that was perfectly timed ten minutes earlier. The referee spent a lot of time whistling but unnecessarily. Fouls called looked more like good physical play.

410585-80d55d5c-1d0a-11e5-90c3-c0f9bc1adbdc150627160521-03-japan-aus-wwc-super-169DeVanna had a few excellent moments, spinning on a dime at the half hour mark to deliver a great ball to Gorry but the final touches for Australia were just not on target. However, Japan had similar issues as Miyama also had a strong shot on goal easily handled by Aussie keeper Williams.

japausfuhiJapan definitely had the better of possession and the Australians did not have their usual speed and power but neither side had a true advantage throughout most of the match.

d78aa9485aa933155475662d7b3dbac5_crop_northWhat was surprising was the Australian substitutions. DeVanna came off in the 66th minute, not looking overly tired or injured. Gorry went off in the ‘76th minute and Simon went off as well. This was very surprising with the Japanese leading possession and no goals in the book. It would seem that Simon and DeVanna would be necessary on the pitch until a goal was scored or at the very least if the game went into overtime. Odd choices in my book.

However, the goal that did finally come resulted from a corner that caused utter chaos in the Australian box. One shot was blocked but not cleared and substitute Iwabuchi was there to tap the wayward ball into the net. And at 87 minutes, there was barely any time to equalize anyway.

Kerr and Kellond-Knight were excellent in this match. Kerr was all over the pitch, working both offensively and defensively. Ohno was very dangerous for Japan and the work along the flanks was disciplined and steady. Good work from Miyama and Sameshima and Ogimi.

Here are some highlights

Line Ups

Kaihori, Iwashimizu, Kumagai, Sameshima, Sakaguchi (Sawa), Miyama (Captain), Kawasumi, Ohno (Iwabuchi), Utsugi, Ogimi, Ariyoshi

Williams, Alleway, Catley, Kellond-Knight, Foord, Van Egmond, DeVanna (Crummer), Kennedy, Simon (Heyman), Gorry, (Sykes), Kerr

Attendance: 19, 814 Edmonton

– ForzaSusan

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