City’s Mary Fowler was on target while Joie Stadium teammate Alanna Kennedy played for 82 minutes as Australia secured a dominant 3-0 win away to Uzbekistan in the first leg of their 2024 Olympic qualifying final in Tashkent.

The Matildas were on top from the off in central Asia, racking up 27 shots to Uzbekistan’s one, but had to be patient before finally making a 72nd minute breakthrough through Michelle Heymann.

Fowler then doubled Australia’s lead, firing home six minutes from time, and Caitlin Foord sealed a comprehensive victory by adding the Matildas’ third goal on 86 minutes.

The second leg takes place in Melbourne on Wednesday, February 28, kick-off 9.10am (UK) where victory would ensure Australia’s place at the Paris Olympics women’s football tournament.

Meanwhile City midfielder Yui Hasegawa played for the full 90 minutes as Japan drew 0-0 against North Korea in the first leg of their Olympic play-off final.

The game had been moved to Jeddah, Saudia Arabia from Pyongyang at late notice and proved a hard-fought affair, high on intensity but low on clear-cut chances.

The second leg decider takes place in Tokyo on Wednesday, February 28, kick-off 9.30am (UK) with the victors also guaranteed a spot at the Paris showpiece.

Elsewhere, Sandy MacIver played the full 90 minutes for Scotland in their 2-0 win away to the Philippines in a Pinatar Cup semi-final played in Spain.

A first-half brace from Martha Thomas proved sufficient for the Scots to progress through to the final, the Spurs striker on target after 23 and 36 minutes in what was Scotland’s first game of 2024.

Pedro Martinez Losa’s side will now face either Finland or Slovenia in the final on Tuesday.