NEW CASTLE – A late goal from Kyah Simon earned Australia a happy 1-1 draw against world champion United States and deprived the Americans of a second victory in the two-game series on Tuesday.
The United States scored early again thanks to Ashley Hatch and created the best attacking chance, but paid the price for not converting. Simon’s 88th-minute goal gave the Matildas a morale-boosting draw against the top-ranked team in the world.
America’s star midfielder captain Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle didn’t have the influence they enjoyed in the 3-0 opener, and coach Vlatko Andonovsky defended them.
“It’s not an easy task to come here against a super good team in a hostile environment,” said Andonovski. “We had the opportunity to create opportunities a bit faster, but they chose to break them a bit more.
“But it was a good opportunity to try new things and I was happy that they were brave to try something like that and happy with the result we got.”
After scoring after just 24 seconds on Saturday in Sydney, in their first appearance in Australia since 2000, the Americans took just over three minutes to take the lead at Newcastle. Hatch again took advantage of Maltidas’ poor defense to score his second career goal in as many matches.
Australia’s Tameka Yallop handed possession cheap, leading Lynn Williams to pass to Margaret Purce, who calmly played the ball into Hatch’s path to finish coldly ahead of Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams.
Australia nearly equalized in the 20th when Kyra Cooney-Cross’s volley from the edge of the box hit the post.
Lynn Williams started the second half as she did the first, tormenting Matildas’ defense, and only a good diving save from Lydia Williams deprived the American of a goal almost an hour later.
“The last game, their goalie kept them in the game. In this game our goalkeeper kept us in the game, “said Australian coach Tony Gustavsson.
Sam Kerr, third in the Ballon d’Or voting Monday for the best player in the world, was largely held in check by the American defense who invaded them almost every time they found the ball. But the Chelsea star placed Simon in the 88th.
Simon’s strike deflected substitute Becky Sauerbrunn and defeated goalkeeper Casey Murphy to the delight of 20,495 spectators.
Kerr, with 49 goals for the Matildas, needs two more to overtake Tim Cahill and become Australia’s top scorer in the men’s or women’s internationals.
The United States have won the Women’s World Cup four times, most recently in France in 2019. Australia and New Zealand will co-host the next World Cup in 2023, with the tournament’s opening match scheduled. in just under 600 days from Tuesday.
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