Matildas set for Tokyo challenge

The Matildas and Japan clash in Tokyo tonight with both teams heading towards different goals.

ABC
Kyah Simon will represent Australia against Japan
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Kyah Simon will be part of the Matildas side taking on Japan in Tokyo

Having not qualified for the London Olympics the Matildas women's soccer team are setting out for their next goal of contesting the 2015 World Cup.

Preparations to fulfil that goal continue tonight when the Asian champions take on World Cup champions Japan in Tokyo.

The Japanese team know as the 'Nadeshiko' are finalising their Olympic preparations before they head to London in pursuit of the gold medal.

The Nadeshiko has a huge following in Japan after upstaging the US in the World Cup final and giving the Japanese people some joy following a bleak year during which almost 20,000 people were killed as a result of the earthquake.

Matildas' head coach Tom Sermanni is looking for some of his young players to gain some valuable experience against quality opposition.

Sermanni is set to give Katrina Gorry and Emily Gielnik their Australian debuts against Japan.

Also set to take the field is 2010 Asian player of the year Kate Gill who returns from a year on the sideline with injury.

Sermanni said tonight's game will be a huge challenge for his side.

"It's a huge game for them and a big game for us and it's also an opportunity for us to blood some players to have a look at some players against a very strong and confident Japanese team," Sermanni said.

"I know it sounds a long way off but this is really the start of our preparation for 2015 which is really just around the corner."

Gill is looking forward to making her return against the world champions.

"There's nothing like playing the best in the world, it's great to be here and to be back involved in this game," Gill said.

Watch the from 6pm or the replay on ABC1 from 11.35pm.

The Matildas squad to face Japan:

Melissa Barbieri (c,gk), Brianna Davey (gk), Laura Alleway, Danielle Brogan, Stephanie Catley, Thea Slatyer, Brooke Spence, Servet Uzunlar, Teigen Allen, Tameka Butt, Katrina Gorry, Alanna Kennedy, Ashley Brown, Caitlin Foord, Emily Gielnik, Kate Gill, Kyah Simon and Sarah Walsh.

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