Kerr triple drives win over Ja­pan

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

SAM Kerr fired the Matil­das to a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive win at the Tour­na­ment of Na­tions, scor­ing a hat- trick in Aus­tralia’s 4- 2 de­feat of Ja­pan.

The red- hot West Aus­tralian scored her first in­ter­na­tional hat- trick in the first half as the Aus­tralian women’s soc­cer team came from be­hind to de­feat their re­gional ri­vals.

Aus­tralia’s big­gest win over the Nadeshiko in 32 years fol­lowed the Matil­das’ first de­feat of the world No. 1 US last week.

While the US tri­umph came from an all- round team ef­fort, San Diego saw the Sam Kerr show as she brought her strong club form to in­ter­na­tional level.

Ja­pan striker Mina Tanaka opened the scor­ing when she chested home a cross to put Ja­pan ahead af­ter six min­utes.

On 11 min­utes Hay­ley Raso showed light­ning pace to break free down the right, cut­ting back to an un­marked Kerr to tap home an equaliser.

Five min­utes later the Aus­tralian No. 20 turned her marker be­fore un­leash­ing a curled fin­ish past Sakiko Ikeda to put the Matil­das ahead.

As half­time loomed Kerr ( above) used her pace once more to com­plete the hat- trick.

The Perth Glory striker won a header and raced on to her own work to score a oneon- one at the sec­ond at­tempt be­fore cel­e­brat­ing with a hand­stand and back­flip.

Emily Van Eg­mond’s sec­ond- half penalty com­pleted the scor­ing.

Matil­das coach Alen Sta­j­cic said the score­line, cut when Yuka Momiki scored an in­jury- time con­so­la­tion, did not re­flect Aus­tralia’s dom­i­nance.

The Matil­das close out the friendly com­pe­ti­tion on Fri­day against Brazil.

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