Matildas captain Sam Kerr has led Australia to a comprehensive victory over South Korea in Brisbane to all but hand the first Cup of Nations to the hosts. Kerr scored two goals of her own to inspire Australia to a 4-1 victory over the Koreans, and put Australia a win and 3 goals clear of their Asian rivals at the top of the table.
The Matildas were by far the more dominant side, registering 66% possession against the 14th ranked South Korea, and had almost three times as many shots at goal (17-6) with four times as many on target (11-3). The result, coming after a 2-0 win over New Zealand, leaves Australia just needing to beat Argentina to claim the cup undefeated.
Argentina lost 5-0 against South Korea in the first round, and 2-0 against New Zealand in the second. This means Australia will be the heavy favourites when they face off on Wednesday. If the Matildas lose to Argentina it will be possible for South Korea or New Zealand to still win, but they would have to make up a significant goal difference. Korea are currently 3 goals behind Australia, while New Zealand are down by 5.
In the demolition of South Korea Kerr needed only 6 minutes to open the scoring, however Ji So-yun struck back in the 12th. Lisa De Vanna gave Australia the lead again midway through the first half, before Kerr scored again after a minute of injury time. Emily Gielnik, who opened the scoring for Australia in the tournament against New Zealand, sealed the win with the only score of the second half.
After the strong display by the Matilda’s New Zealand will fancy their chances against South Korea in the final round, although they will struggle to make up the 5 point lead Australia currently have on goal difference, even if Argentina shock the football world by winning the final game.
The Kerr and the Matildas are in fine form leading into the World Cup in France later this year, and if they can keep it up they could well be a serious contender for the trophy, despite their recent coaching dramas.