Westfield Matildas attacker Kyah Simon admits revenge for April’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup final loss against Japan will be added motivation in Friday morning’s (AEST) crucial Tournament of Nations clash.
Alen Stajcic’s side were denied the Asian Cup title in Jordan earlier this year after a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in the final against the Samurai Blue.
The two AFC rivals will meet again in Chicago on Friday, with Australia needing a healthy win as they attempt to retain their Tournament of Nations crown.
The Westfield Matildas are currently level on points – and goal difference – with the USA [who play Brazil] heading into the final round of matches, meaning a big win is paramount.
“We’ve definitely faced them [Japan] a number of times in our recent history and most recently the Asian Cup. [We want] a bit of vengeance there, I’m sure we want to get one back on them and we know what’s at stake as well,” Simon told https://matildas.footballaustralia.com.au.
“We can only control what we can control, being the first match of the two.
“We have to put in our best performance of the tournament, get as many goals, so hopefully if it comes down to goal difference that we are one step ahead of the US.
“I am just excited to get back out there and to play another match. It has been really great being in camp with the girls, coming from club land into the (Westfield) Matildas set up.”
Another Westfield Matilda who is relishing the chance to get back at Japan is defender Clare Polkinghorne, who was heroic in defence against the USA on Monday morning.
“We’ve had a pretty long history against Japan and sometimes we take the points and obviously the last time we played them they got one over us in the (AFC Women’s) Asian Cup Final,” Polkinghorne said.
“We probably outplayed them (in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Final) and that was a game we should have won.
“Definitely looking to improve the result and keep up the performances. It is always a tough match against the Japanese who are very technical and very organised.
“We are definitely going to have our work cut out for us, but I think we have shown a lot of positive signs in this tournament so far and if we can improve on a few things then we will definitely put on a good show.”
Of course, the Westfield Matildas could have been in a much stronger position if not for conceding a last-minute equalizer in their epic 1-1 draw with the US on Monday (AEST).
Reflecting on the result, Simon said: “They really had us under the cosh for the last 15-20 minutes which made it difficult to hold them out.
“But we’re disappointed because we really feel like we could have got the three points. To let them score off a set piece in the 90th minute is a tough one to swallow.
“It still eats at me even waking up this morning and how close we were to walking away with that win.”
The Westfield Matildas’ final match at the 2018 Tournament of Nations will be played against Japan on Thursday, 2 August 2018 (local time) at Toyota Park.
The game will be broadcast LIVE in Australia on FOX SPORTS 505 and the My Football Live app from 7.45am (AEST) on Friday, 3 August 2018.