Written by the Football Federation Australia
The Qantas Matildas have been defeated 4-2 by Japan after holding a two goal lead in their international match played overnight in Tokyo.
The match saw action on and off the field with six goals scored and no shortage of goalmouth action, however there was also drama in the 79th minute when an earthquake with a magnitude measuring 5.7 struck 90 kilometers east of Tokyo although the match was not halted.
The Qantas Matildas, wearing black armbands in recognition of the cycling tragedy in Germany earlier in the week, started brightly against opponent’s ranked four positions higher on the FIFA rankings and raced to a two goal lead after 23 minutes.
The first goal came after 14 minutes with Sally Shipard and Jo Peters (pictured) providing the opening for Lisa De Vanna who struck home a left foot shot from just inside the penalty area.
Nine minutes later Peters got on the scoresheet from the penalty spot after a foul on De Vanna. It was the second goal in three matches for the Newcastle-based Peters after scoring the dramatic winner last weekend against China.
Japan, however, struck back almost immediately with Yuki Nagasato nodding home a close-range header.
Australia came close to regaining their two goal margin soon after with De Vanna’s close-range header striking the bar.
The Qantas Matildas looked likely to go into the interval in the lead but found themselves a goal down thanks to two goals within a minute for the home side. Firstly Shinobu Ohno struck after a break down the left, and then Nagasato grabbed her second after a similar foray down the right flank.
Both goalkeepers were called into action on several occasions in the second half with Japan finding the net mid-way through the half through a first-time strike from Tomoe Sakai.
The Qantas Matildas will now travel to Korea for two final international matches on Tuesday and Thursday looking for the possible return of captain Cheryl Salisbury who has missed the last two matches through injury.