Wed, Aug 1, 1:06pm by Staff Writer
The four-team Tournament of Nations international women’s football tournament concludes on Friday morning Australian time with the final matches to decide the competition winner.
The United States and Australia are locked in a battle atop the standing, each on four points and with a positive two-goal difference.
The Matildas need a win or draw or a United States loss, as one of the possible combinations to crown them winners of the competition for a second successive year.
Australia are $1.83 favourites to defeat bottom-placed Japan at Toyota Park, Illinois on Friday.
The Japanese team are $4 underdogs at Sportsbet, with the draw paying $3.10.
The first match of the tournament was a positive one for the Matildas as they defeated Brazil 3-1 in Kansas.
Goals to Tameka Butt and Sam Kerr, as well as an own-goal by Poliana set up the victory for the Matildas.
The United States had similar success in Kansas against Japan, winning 4-2.
The world number one women’s football nation was dominant for large parts of the contest, with Alex Morgan netting a hat trick to dispatch the Japanese side.
Match day two took place in Connecticut, where Brazil secured a 2-1 win against Japan to keep their hopes of winning the Tournament of Nations alive.
Brazil will be hoping for an Australia and Japan draw and a win against the United States to claim an unlikely tournament win.
Australia had one hand on the Tournament of Nations trophy yet again when they led the United States 1-0 approaching stoppage time.
A Chloe Logarzo goal midway through the first half gave the Matildas the lead, but Lindsey Horan spoilt the party for the visitors, scoring in the 90th minute.
Friday morning’s match against Japan will certainly not be easy, as the Matilda’s were defeated 3-1 by the Blue Samurai in a shock result at the recent Asian Cup.
Despite Alen Stajcic’s side dominating their most recent encounter, the 1-0 recent thanks to a Kumi Yokoyama strike in Jordan replicated the 1-0 recent in the final of the 2014 tournament in Vietnam.
In April the Matilda’s had 60 per cent possession for the game and it was just their second loss in their last 12 games at the Women’s Asian Cup, with both losses coming against Japan.
Japan are winless in the Tournament of Nations thus far and the free-flowing nature of the matches so far has hurt their side, which is built on defence and counter attack.
The Matilda’s will want to win this match and on the balance of the previous two matches they have played, should defeat Japan and give themselves a chance of claiming another Tournament of Nations.
Best bet- Australia to defeat Japan at $1.83
Tournament of Nations Sportsbet Match Odds
Australia $1.83 Draw $3.10 Japan $4
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