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By Michael Chan-Lok
Washington Spirit defender Amy Harrison and the Australian Women’s National Team placed themselves one step closer to claiming the 2019 Cup of Nations championship as they defeated Korea Republic 4-1 in the second match of the tournament.
The two teams came into matchday two with a share of the tournament lead and the winner would see themselves heading to matchday three with a major advantage to come out as champions.
Australia claimed an early 1-0 lead after Sam Kerr converted from the penalty spot in the 6th minute, only to see Korea Republic equalize six minutes later with a goal from Ji So-yun. As the match approached halftime, the Matildas regained control by scoring twice in eight minutes, as former Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna (37’) and current captain Sam Kerr (45’+2) found the back of the net to take a 3-1 lead into the locker room.
As Spirit defender Amy Harrison was brought in as a substitute in the 74th minute in place of Emily van Egmond, the inclusion of the former Sydney FC star in the remaining 16 minutes of the match helped the Matildas eliminate any doubts of a comeback by Korea Republic as Emily Gielnik placed a goal into the back of the net in the 81st minute, resulting in the 4-1 scoreline and giving newly-appointed coach Ante Milicic his second win in his second match as Matildas manager.
With a three-point lead heading into the final match of the tournament, Harrison and the Matildas only need to avoid defeat on Wednesday against Argentina to claim the title. The game will take place at Aami Park in Melbourne on Wednesday, March 6 with a 2 a.m. ET kickoff time, as the host nation seeks to hoist the trophy at the end of the match.
(Photo via Sydney FC)