Goals from Kyah Simon and Emily Van Egmond saw Australia make it three wins from as many matches at the AFC Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 qualifiers after they defeated Korea Republic 2-0 at Nagai Stadium.
Simon netted after just 48 seconds before Van Egmond’s penalty just shy of the quarter hour sent Australia into the break with a 2-0 lead and over a stop start second half that was the way it stayed.
Alen Stajcic’s side sit top of the six-nation tournament, two points clear of China after Bruno Bini’s side defeated hosts Japan 2-1 in Friday’s other fixture.
Australia spoke in the buildup to the match of wanting to make a fast start and they certainly did that, going ahead in the very first minute.
Captain Lisa De Vanna was played through by Chloe Logarzo, surged into the penalty box and fired a shot across the onrushing Kim Jung-mi which struck the base of the post and fell into the path of a sliding Simon, who guided her shot into the empty net.
A quarter of an hour later a dominant Australia doubled their lead after De Vanna was chopped down on the edge of the box by Kim Hye-ri with referee Lucila Venegas immediately pointing to the spot.
Van Egmond stepped up and sent a shot low to her right which went under the diving Kim to make it 2-0.
Australia were dominating both possession and chances and firstly Van Egmond tried an audacious shot from almost halfway that Kim had well covered before De Vanna forced the South Korean custodian into a sharp low save in the 38th minute.
A Kim Hye-ri free-kick that skimmed the bar in the 45th minute was as close as Korea Republic came as the sides headed to the break with Australia two goals to the good.
Australian substitute Caitlin Foord had the ball in the back of the net a quarter of an hour into the second half only for it to be ruled out for offside before Claire Polkinghorne sent a shot narrowly wide three minutes later.
Jung Sul-bin’s 69th minute free-kick sailed over the top of Lydia Williams’ goal and substitute Lee Guem-min forced a fingertip save from the Australia keeper with ten minutes remaining as the South Koreans tried to find a way back into the match.
Foord missed a couple of good chances to extend Australia’s lead but in the end it mattered little as the Matildas ran out 2-0 winners and moved a step closer to their first Olympic Games qualification in 12 years.