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Live stream info, TV listings: Australia vs Japan - 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup

June 26, 2015 By Michelle Bonsu
After pulling off a shock upset aginst Brazil, Australia will hope to do the same to reigning WWC champions Japan as they meet in the quarter-finals at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, June 27th. Here are some online streaming & live TV listings options for Australia vs. Japan.

It would be an understatement to say that Australia have not had it easy at this summer's World Cup. First the Matildas, who are ranked tenth in the world, were placed in the most difficult quartet out of the six vying for a spot in the round of 16. With fellow top-ten sides Sweden and the USA, as well as African champions Nigeria, it was going to be a tough battle to qualify for the first knock-out rounds.

In their opening match, Alen Stajcic's squad were defeated 3-1 by the Stars and Stripes, but to be honest, Jill Ellis's side had much to be thankful for due to Megan Rapinoe's brace and Hope Solo's top performance between the posts to frustrate them time and time again. They successfully bounced back by dispatching Nigeria 2-0 in their next game and then wrapped up the group stages by drawing Sweden to avoid having to face Germany in the round of 16.

Yet, just when they thought they could breathe easily, up came Brazil, a team that had caused nothing but misery for the Matildas who were seeking to finally win a knock-out stage match. They would finally get their wish as not only were they able to keep Marta quiet, but also saw Kyah Simon's 80th minute goal be just enough to fire them into the next round and make history in the progress - and not just for the women's side. For the first time in Australian football history, a senior squad has finally won a knock-out game and they will be keen on causing another upset as they take on Japan tomorrow evening.

Japan are no strangers to pulling off upsets. In 2011, the Nadeshiko shocked women's football by defeating traditional heavyweights Sweden, Germany, and finally the USA en route to winning their first ever World Cup title. Despite the USWNT getting revenge by defeating them in the 2012 Olympics final, Norio Sasaki's ladies came into this tournament after beating Australia 1-0 to secure their first ever AFC Women's Cup and have been solid since arriving in Canada as they seek to successfully defend their title.

Not surprisingly, they eased through their group which was made up of three debutants Cameroon, Switzerland, and Ecuador with a perfect nine points, conceding just once and scoring four times. They were then paired again with another new squad, the Netherlands, and appeared largely unruffled as they held the Oranje off, despite a late scare when Kirsten Van den Ven pulled one back in injury time and so far have clearly showed that they well-deserve to be among the favourites to be one of the teams featuring in the final on July 5th.

In comparison to Australia's path, the Japanese have had the easier route to the quarter-finals, no doubt about that. As such, Nadeshiko will be very wary of the Matildas, who are growing in confidence and will be hungry for some revenge after being denied a winner's medal at the AFC Women's Cup last year. They also have had to really battle it out both physically and mentally against three top ten sides and the champions of Africa to get to this tage.

However, against Japan, Stajcic's team will want to make sure they keep things under control at the back and try to gain a foothold in the match early; otherwise, they could find themselves chasing the match. Five out of Japan's six goals have come inside the first 30 minutes and once that happens, it's game over for the other team.

Caitlin Foord, who had a brilliant game in shutting down Marta, will be called upon to deal with the tricky Nahomi Kawasumi and Aya Miyama alongside her colleague Steph Catley, but Japan have shown that anyone is capable of producing a goal. Against the Netherlands, it was Saori Ariyoshi and Mizuho Sakaguchi who got the job done and both ladies will definitely be in Sasaki's starting XI for the match against the Aussies.

With neither side keen on heading home early and all the elements of a grudge match for Australia, expect this quarter-final clash to be a scintillating one from start to finish. The winner will take on either hosts Canada or England in the semi-finals. Will Australia be able to continue on their historic one, taking down yet another heavyweight in the process? Or will Japan march on in their quest to win a second World Cup title?

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