Australia confirmed their place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year in Paris – courtesy of a late, late goal from the prolific Sam Kerr that gave them a 1-1 draw against former world champions Japan.

The Japanese had taken the lead through Mizuho Sakaguchi’s 63rd minute strike but luckily for the Matildas, Kerr popped in the equaliser four minutes to the end for both teams through.

“Thankfully we’ve got great character in our team and great spirit,” said Australian head coach Alen Stajcic.

“Not only is there good skill, good fitness and good speed in our team, there’s also good team spirit and the will to fight to the end, so I’m really proud of the group for that quality that we have.”

Following the end of the group stage of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, the five teams which have confirmed their place in the semi-finals and also for France 2019 are Japan, Australia, Thailand and China.

The four teams will also be playing in the semi-finals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in three days.

The fifth spot for a place in France 2019 will see the Philippines taking on South Korea on 16 April 2018 at the Amman International Stadium.

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