Matildas ready to dethrone Japan

VANCOUVER - Australia are not the same side who lost last year's Asian Cup final to Japan and can dump the reigning champions out of football's Women's World Cup, coach Alen Stajcic said.

Japan set up Saturday's quarter-final meeting with the 10th-ranked Matildas by beating the Netherlands 2-1 in Vancouver on Tuesday to advance to the last eight for the third time in seven World Cups.

The only team in the tournament to have won every game, Japan dominated the Dutch debutantes with their speed and skill on the artificial turf, which is being used for the first time at a World Cup.

Australia had spent a couple of days waiting to confirm their quarter-final opponents after stunning Brazil 1-0 but Stajcic did not think Japan's win meant the Matildas' campaign would come to an end in Edmonton.

"We've got a big assignment on our hands - the current world champions and a very good team," he said.

"But we're a very good team as well and we've been dangerous against everyone and there's no reason we can't be dangerous when we play Japan and be a real threat.

"I think if we play to our potential, we can certainly beat them this time around."

Australia met Japan twice at last year's Asian Cup in Vietnam, drawing 2-2 after being two goals up and losing the final to a 28th- minute Azusa Iwashimizu header from a corner.

In other last-eight fixtures, top-ranked Germany play third-ranked France in Montreal tomorrow while China take on Olympic champions United States in Ottawa.

Hosts Canada clash with England in Vancouver on Saturday.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2015, with the headline 'Matildas ready to dethrone Japan'. Print Edition | Subscribe