Matildas to defend Tournament of Nations crown in US

Twelve months ago, the Tournament of Nations marked the Matildas' biggest breakthrough in world football — now the Australian team are confirmed to defend their title against the same three sides as 2017.

The second edition of the four-team tournament will be held in the United States in July and August this year.

In 2017, the Matildas stunned fans and pundits alike, beating the United States for the first time ever in the opening game, and also defeating Japan and Brazil to finish with a 100 per cent record and win the tournament.

Matildas striker Sam Kerr scored a hat-trick against Japan, and then the Australians put six goals past Brazil to clinch the title.

Australian footballer Sam Kerr is upside-down, in mid-back flip.

The tournament kicked off a winning streak that brought the Matildas to their best-ever international ranking of fourth in March this year.

Australia is now back in sixth spot, but the Matildas last month qualified for next year's FIFA Women's World Cup in France, before losing to Japan in the Asian Cup final.

This year's Tournament of Nations will be an important marker of where the Australian team sits ahead of the World Cup.

The 2018 tournament will again be hosted by the United States, with games to be played in Kansas City, East Hartford, Connecticut and at Bridgeview, near Chicago.

The Matildas will open their tournament with a game against Brazil on July 27 (AEST) in Kansas City.

Alen Stajcic's team will then meet the hosts in Connecticut on Monday July 30 (AEST), before finishing their campaign against Japan on August 3 (AEST).

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