Australia and Japan roll on
© Foto-net

Australia edged closer to the AFC Women's Asian Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 win over Korea Republic here on Saturday as Japan crushed Chinese Taipei to keep alive their hopes of qualifying.

The Australians now need just a point from their final Group B game against Japan on Monday to stay on track to bettering their runners-up finish in the 2006 tournament. China and Korea DPR have already qualified for the semi-finals after two wins out of two in Group A.

A goal in each half from Ellyse Perry and Lisa De Vanna secured the Matildas their second successive victory to put them top of the group on six points, with Japan and South Korea both on three. Tom Sermanni's side took the lead in the 29th minute when Collette McCallum's free-kick on the edge of the area rebounded back off the wall only for Perry to fire a 25-yard drive into the back of the net.

Australia failed to capitalise on several more chances before the lively De Vanna got her just reward for tormenting the Korean defence when she broke free in the 68th minute and coolly despatched a low shot.

Easy day for Japan
Japan completely demolished Taiwan 11-0, with nine of the goals coming in the second half. They took the lead after 20 minutes when Aya Sameshima's ball into the area just missed the head of a Japanese forward and landed in the net with the goalkeeper wrong-footed.

Japan added another nine minutes later when Michi Goto charged down an attempted clearance and crossed for Rumi Utsugi to rifle home from close range.

The second half was a lopsided affair with the third goal coming on 51 minutes when Kozue Ando expertly fired home a free-kick from 25 yards before Eriko Arakawa beat a defender and slotted the ball in soon after. Further goals were never far away with Utsugi drilling in a low effort and substitute Karina Maruyama quickly adding a sixth.

The rout continued with another goal in the 76th minute by Goto. Two goals in a minute from Tomoe Kato and Goto again added to the Tawainese misery before Maruyama and Yuki Nagasto sealed the emphatic win.