Matildas hungry for revenge
ONE word springs to mind almost immediately when Matildas midfielder Chloe Logarzo visualises playing Japan on Friday.
"Revenge," she said.
"Revenge for the Asian Cup. That would be really good."
It's been more than three months since the Matildas fell 1-0 in April's Asian Cup final in Jordan.
Heartbreak was soon replaced by a burning desire for retribution and that day will finally come when Logarzo and the rest of Alen Stajcic's squad line up against the Samurai Blue in Chicago.
Win by enough goals and Australia will successfully defend their Tournament of Nations crown.
They've already beaten Brazil 3-1 last Friday but Monday's last-gasp 1-1 draw with the US leaves the four-team friendly tournament in the balance, with America and Brazil both still in contention and set to face off hours later.
And last-placed Japan, while out of the running, will be fixed on avoiding a third consecutive defeat and salvaging some pride against a Matildas contingent they've long had the wood over.
Australia also lost 1-0 to Japan in the 2015 Women's World Cup quarterfinals, and by the same scoreline in the 2014 Asian Cup.
"We play Japan all the time, we just need to learn how to break them down and defeat them every time," Logarzo said.
"Because they're such a technical team and if you give them a chance or two, like in the Asian Cup, they score.
"We need to convert on our chances, that's definitely one of the biggest things we took out of the Asian Cup final.
"No matter how many times we get the ball up into the final third, if we don't produce anything there's no success from that possession.
"Sam (Kerr) has been on fire in the last two years but we can't just always rely on Sam to be scoring our goals."
Logarzo scored Australia's only goal against the US, joking Lisa De Vanna "would probably have killed me" had she not executed her clinical 22nd-minute finish after the veteran's dazzling field-length dash to set it up.
The Americans equalised of a corner at the death but, despite the cruel nature of the result, there's a sense among the Matildas that other nations are fast closing in on the perennial world No.1s.
"I feel like every other nation is catching up to the way the USA play, and they're feeling the pressure as well," Logarzo said.
"The gap between first and 20th is closing every single international game and I can't think what they're feeling when they've been on top for 10 years."