2021 Women's International Friendly
  • Kyah Simon (88')
  • Ashley Hatch (4')

USWNT win snatched away as Australia score late deflected equaliser

A massive deflection saw the Australian women's soccer team grab a late equaliser against the United States as their second friendly match ended 1-1 on Tuesday.

Kyah Simon's 88th-minute strike cruelly bounced off Becky Sauerbrunn and into the net, cancelling out Ashley Hatch's earlier goal.

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After losing 3-0 in their previous encounter, Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson made a number of changes to his side, opting for experience, especially in defense.

It worked to an extent, with the U.S. midfield of captain Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle not having the influence they enjoyed in the first friendly.

"It's not an easy task to come here against a super good team in a hostile environment," U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said in defending his midfield duo. "We had the opportunity to create opportunities a little bit faster, but they chose to break them down a little bit more.

"But it was a good opportunity to try new things and I was happy they were brave to try something like that and happy with the outcome that we had."

Australia's Clare Wheeler, a substitute in the 86th minute, bravely slid in on Ashley Sanchez, and as she spun away she pinched the ball before passing to Stephanie Catley. She in turn found Sam Kerr, who worked it to Simon.

The 30-year-old, who missed a sitter in Saturday's loss to the U.S., saw her strike deflect off Sauerbrunn before beating U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy to salvage the draw.

After scoring just 24 seconds in on Saturday in Sydney, in their first appearance in Australia since 2000, the USWNT took just over three minutes to take the lead in Newcastle. Hatch again took advantage of some poor Matildas defending to bag her second career goal in as many matches.

Australia's Tameka Yallop gave the ball away and U.S. forward Margaret Purce streamed forward before cutting the ball back for an untracked Hatch, who coolly slotted past Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams.

U.S. forward Lynn Williams fumbled an attempted header wide in the 11th minute while Hatch headed straight at Williams from close range in the 16th.

Many of the Matildas' best chances broke down through poor crosses, but Kyra Cooney-Cross was inches away from her first international goal in the 21st minute, when she looped a long-range shot onto the post.

Horan almost made it 2-0 in the 34th minute but for Courtney Nevin's last-ditch challenge.

Australia had a golden chance to level the scoring three minutes after halftime when Hayley Raso went on a blistering run then slipped the ball to Kerr, who made space under pressure but dragged her shot wide.

In the 58th minute, Lynn Williams tried her luck from range and forced Lydia Williams into a fantastic save. As the game further opened up, Australia's Catley made a superb challenge to stop Morgan Weaver in her tracks in the 80th minute.

"The last game, their goalkeeper kept them in the game. In this game, our goalkeeper kept us in the game," Gustavsson said.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.