Westfield Matildas Asian Cup opponent fixture history: Japan

The Westfield Matildas have been drawn with Japan, Korea Republic and Vietnam in their group at the Asian Cup 2018 in Jordan. 

So, how have Australia fared against Japan in their most-recent three clashes?

Traditionally, Australia has struggled against the Japanese - a regional power - but in recent times the Matildas' emerging quality has come to the fore.  

Here are Australia's last three fixtures against Nadeshiko. 

July 30, 2017 

Australia 4-2 Japan (Tournament of Nations Friendly tournament in San Diego)

Australia really showed how far they've come with a thumping performance lead by the breakout star of 2017, Sam Kerr. 

She smashed a first-half hat-trick in a sunny San Diego after the Japanese took an early lead.

Emily Van Egmond capping  a stunning display against Nadeshiko with a fourth goal for Alen Stajcic's side. 

Momiko with a second for Japan in time added on but the day belonged to the Australians. 

Sam Kerr
The Sam Kerr show in San Diego

February 29, 2016 

Japan 3-1 Australia (Olympics 2016 qualifier tournament in Osaka)

Wow! This was the game that showed a power shift in Asia.

Broadcast on Channel 7, and with a place at Rio 2016 the prize, Australia met the home nation in their opening match of the qualifiers with many believing the Japanese would be too strong. 

First-half goals from Lisa De Vanna and Michelle Heyman stunned the hosts.

Yuki Ogimi pulled a goal back with the final action of a thrilling first half, but "Mini" Gorry sealed a famous victory 12 minutes from time.

Australia had made a massive statement and, subsequently, went on to qualify for Rio easily. 

"KK" in action against Japan in Osaka

June 21, 2015  

Japan 1-0 Australia (FIFA World Cup 2015 quarter finals, Edmonton)

After defeating Brazil - the first time an Australian senior team has won a knockout round clash at a senior World Cup - Japan in the last eight was the prize.

In a game that  showed how even both nations had become, the Japanese edged the Australians and knocked them out with an 87th minute goal, the only of this tight match. 

Mana Iwabuchi smashed home from close range to end the tournament for the Australians. 

It was heart-breaking for the Matildas. 

Matildas World Cup 2015