Two second half goals have seen Australia defeated 2–0 by defending champions Japan at the AFC U19 Championships.
Two second half goals have seen Australia defeated 2-0 by defending champions Japan in their second match of the AFC U19 Championships in Nanjing, China.
After holding out the Japanese for over a half, a Yui Hasegawa long range strike and a late Rin Sumida goal finally broke the Australian resistance.
Looking to bounce back from a disappointing opening result, Young Matildas coach Spencer Prior settled on a revamped starting line up with only three players backing up for second match.
Early in the contest the changes looked to have done the trick with Australia defending well against the rapid and slick ball movement of Japan.
It took until the 20th minute for Japan to get their first real look at the Australian goal when captain Yu Nakasato drifted to the back post to latch onto Mina Tanaka-s pin point cross but Mackenzie Arnold was equal to the task with a kick save.
Minutes later another warning shot was fired when a free kick crashed into Arnold-s near post.
Late in the half Australia finally began to gain some possession of the ball with Natalie Tobin superbly leading the rearguard action but the Young Matildas were unable to make inroads against the Japanese defence.
Despite Japan-s superior possession, the scores remained locked at 0-0 at the break.
The second half saw the World's No. 3 side start brightly and four minutes in they were rewarded when Hasegawa-s strike from 18 yards out took a small deflection to finally evade Arnold.
Behind, Australia looked to work their way back into the match and their best chance of the game came in the 78th minute.
Commencing with a storming run from Grace Field, the central defender laid off a well-weighted diagonal ball into the path of Georgia Yeoman-Dale. Six yards out, the striker was unable to keep her shot down as she blasted over the crossbar.
Minutes later Australia were again in behind the Japanese defence with Brittany Whitfield-s deflected strike forcing a save from Japanese goalkeeper Nene Inoue.
A quick counter-attack from that chance ended in Sumida slotting the ball past Arnold to seal the game for Japan in the 80th minute.
"No doubting Japan is a quality team with six players from their last campaign playing today," said Young Matildas coach Spencer Prior.
"We had a golden opportunity to equalise at one nil but it wasn-t to be."
"We will need to treat the next three matches like finals to salvage anything from the rest of the championship. Our next match against China will be another stern test for us."
Australia 0 Japan 2 (Yui 50-, Rin 80-)
Date: Sunday, 13 October 2013 Kick off: 2.00pm (local time) / 5.00pm (AEDST) Stadium: Jiangning Sports Centre Nanjing, China.
Referee: Ri Hyang Ok
Starting Line Up: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD, 2. Rachael SOUTAR (12. Tara ANDREWS 73-), 4. Grace FIELD, 5. Emma CHECKER, 6 Sally ROJAHN, 8. Natalie TOBIN, 11 Brittany WHITFIELD, 17. Melissa CACERES (9. Olivia PRICE 37-), 19 Sarah CARROLL, 20. Alisha BASS, 22. Larissa CRUMMER (3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE 46-)
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