Australia conceded a stoppage-time goal in a 1-1 draw against the World No.1 ranked United States at the Tournament of Nations on Monday morning (AEST).
The Matildas, fresh off a 3-1 win over Brazil on Friday in their tournament opener, took a 22nd-minute lead thanks to Chloe Logarzo’s neat finish.
But Australia’s hopes of two successive wins against the world’s best nation were dashed in the 90th minute, when Lindsey Horan headed home from a corner.
The Americans are now unbeaten in 18 successive matches.
Australia, who beat the US at the same event last year, started brightly, with Alen Stajcic’s side impressing in the early exchanges.
And Lisa De Vanna charged 60 yards up the pitch before setting up Logarzo on a swift counter.
The 33-year-old’s ball was inch perfect, allowing Logarzo to slot her effort into the bottom-right corner and give Australia a deserved lead.
The tournament favourites responded strongly from there, with Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams called on a number of times to keep her side in front.
But just when it looked like the eighth-ranked Matildas had done enough to secure victory, the United States won a late corner.
And Megan Rapinoe’s corner was nodded in at the back post by Horan to spark celebrations among the tournament hosts.
Matildas coach Alen Stajcic felt his team was unfortunate, with replays suggesting a US player touched the ball before it went out for the corner kick that led to the equaliser.
“I thought it was a goal kick,” Stajcic said. “They’re little moments that can sometimes affect the outcome of the game but it’s hard to argue the USA didn’t deserve a draw.
“We’re all certainly proud of the effort … it was probably one of the best defensive performances we’ve done.”
— Westfield Matildas (@TheMatildas) July 29, 2018
The Matildas take on Japan in their next match at the Tournament of Nations, a rematch of the 2018 Asian Cup final.
The winner of the tournament will be based on total points (three for a win, one for a draw), with the first tie-breaker being overall goal difference, followed by most total tournament goals scored, then head-to-head result and, lastly, FIFA Ranking if necessary.
Should Australia (four points, plus two goal difference) either defeat, or draw with, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) rivals Japan (0 points, minus three goal difference), the pressure will then shift to the second game of the day between USA (four points, plus two goal difference) and Brazil (three points, minus one goal difference).
A Westfield Matildas win over Japan would knock Brazil out of the reckoning prior to kick-off in their match against USA.
The Japan match kicks off at 7.45am AEST on Friday.