The Matildas’ hopes of a second-straight win over the United States have been shattered by a last-gasp goal in a 1-1 draw at the Tournament of Nations.
Australia led through Chloe Logarzo’s opener in the 22nd minute and looked on course for a huge statement victory over the world number one-ranked Americans.
But Lindsey Horan rose to nod home a Megan Rapinoe corner at the end of regulation time to save the home side’s blushes in Connecticut, extending their unbeaten streak to 18 matches.
Monday morning’s (AEST) result was just the third time the Americans had been held to a draw during that period.
They haven’t tasted defeat since the last time they met the Matildas in the same tournament a year ago.
It’s the only time the US have lost to Australia in women’s soccer.
But should they meet again at next year’s Women’s World Cup in France, the Matildas, who sit at number eight in the world rankings, will be bullish about their chances.
Logarzo’s cool finish stirred up clear anxiety in the US team, who were out for revenge and had done most of the attacking up until that point.
Lisa De Vanna, the oldest player in the Australian squad at age 33, was the architect.
Brought in for Kyah Simon in the only change made by coach Alen Stajcic to the starting team that defeated Brazil last week, De Vanna collected the ball near the edge of the Matildas’ defensive penalty area after a failed US corner kick.
Then she switched on the afterburners, leaving two chasing Americans in her wake on a blistering 70-metre run, surged into the final third before slipping a perfect through-ball for Logarzo to go one-on-one.
A calm and composed Logarzo placed her shot into the bottom-right corner past helpless US goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
The US struggled to maintain any rhythm in their play after conceding but still dominated possession and territory, forcing a number of desperate defensive interventions from Australia and continually testing custodian Lydia Williams.
But the Matildas were unable to ride their luck all the way to the final whistle, with Horan’s back-post effort a cruel blow at the death.
Samantha Kerr had the only other shot on target for the Matildas, with her 68th-minute effort easily saved.
Australia rounds out their Tournament of Nations campaign on Friday morning (AEST) in Bridgeview, Illinois against Japan, who defeated them 1-0 in the Women’s Asian Cup final in April.
Lindsey Horan scored late to deny Australia a famous win and extend the USA’s unbeaten streak to 18 matches. (AP: Jessica Hill)