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Australia 1-1 USA: international women’s football friendly – as it happened

The Guardian
The Guardian
 2021-11-30
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The Matildas celebrate Kyah Simon’s late equaliser in the international friendly against the USA in Newcastle. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

11.41am GMT

Related: Late Kyah Simon strike salvages 1-1 draw for Matildas against USA

11.26am GMT

So, a goal at either end of the 90 minutes, with plenty of US chances in between to kill off the game, but none taken. The visitors paid the price for that profligacy in the end, as a hefty deflection off Becky Sauerbrunn with just two minutes remaining proved costly.

And that wraps up this year’s competitive international football for both teams. Perhaps not the way the USA wanted, or indeed deserved to end their year, but their inexperienced squad can go home with their heads held high. For the Matildas, the Asian Cup is next, starting in mid-January. They’re not going to meet a team of the quality of this US outfit there, and if Gustavssonian theory is correct, these two games will stand his side in good stead at the tournament in India - and beyond.

Stand by for Emma Kemp’s match report, which will be landing shortly. But from me, it’s goodbye for now.

11.24am GMT

Tony Gustavsson : “I had all the emotions a human can have tonight. I was happy as well. That never say die attitude... and what an atmosphere.”

Sam Kerr : “It was disappointing to concede in the first few minutess again. It probably wasn’t our best performance but we’re building and we’ll take a tie against the world No 1.

“I could have been better. I was still a bit rusty after bring sick. But it’s not about me tonight.”

11.07am GMT

It’s a 1-1 draw with the world champions that goes into the record books, but the performance was in truth not great. The defensive problems are still glaringly apparent, a cutting edge up front is still missing and there is much work to be done if the better opposition they face are to be beaten.

11.05am GMT

Tony Gustavsson said after Saturday’s defeat that he’s not too interested by results, and more the performance. Wonder what his view of this result (and performance) will be?

11.02am GMT

Full-time: Australia 1-1 USA

90+4 mins : There goes the whistle! All over and it ends one apiece in Newcastle.

11.01am GMT

90+3 mins : That was the correct offside decision by the way, just in case there was any doubt.

11.00am GMT

90+2 mins : Horan scores! The USA are back in front! No! Offside! The flag is up and her close range volley won’t count! Late drama in Newcastle!

Updated at 11.00am GMT

10.58am GMT

90 mins : Four minutes to be added... there’s still plenty of time for another twist in this tale.

10.58am GMT

89 mins : There’s an element of redemption about that goal, given Simon missed an absolute sitter in Sydney on Saturday. She might well have just salvaged an unlikely point here.

10.57am GMT

Goal! Australia 1-1 USA (Simon 88)

88 mins : Well, well, well! You wouldn’t have thought that was coming, and there’s a huge element of luck to it as Simon’s strike from the edge of the box takes a big deflection off the recently-introduced Sauerbrunn and bounces past the wrong-footed Murphy, but they’ll take that!

Updated at 11.15am GMT

10.54am GMT

86 mins : Wheeler comes on to replace Yallop for the Matildas, while Sonnett and Sauerbrunn come on for Huerta and Sullivan for the USA.

Updated at 11.15am GMT

10.52am GMT

84 mins : Weaver again gets the wrong side of the Matildas’ backline. This time she does manage to get a shot away, but it’s straight at Williams who makes the save without any fuss.

10.51am GMT

82 mins : The experienced Kennedy comes to the rescue as Horan’s cross causes some consternation in the Australian box. The veteran takes charge and nips the danger in the bud.

10.50am GMT

81 mins : The USA make another change now - Sanchez on for Lynn Williams, who has also been excellent.

10.49am GMT

80 mins : That’s not too nice from Horan on Yallop, and the first yellow card of the night is brandished.

10.49am GMT

79 mins : It looks like Morgan Weaver is in here but Catley flies back and makes the sliding challenge to end all sliding challenges and end the danger.

10.47am GMT

78 mins : Horan plays the ball into the feet of Lavelle, with her back to goal. Lavelle controls and turns in one swift movement to fashion a shooting opportunity but her effort isn’t struck as sweetly as she might have hoped and the ball dribbles through to Lydia Williams.

10.45am GMT

77 mins : Defender Dorsey is sent on on for the excellent Fox to make her international debut as the USA make a third change.

10.44am GMT

76 mins : Fowler looks to set Kerr free with another cute ball forward, but her captain is flagged offside before she attempts a chipped shot that lands wide of the mark anyway.

10.43am GMT

75 mins : Oh dear, Van Egmond tries her luck from 25 yards out and it’s not pretty. Her effort lacks power and direction and Murphy remains untroubled.

10.41am GMT

72 mins : Mewis straight into the action and there’s a big shout for a penalty as Carpenter trips her in the box! But the ref doesn’t want to give it. VAR, if there was VAR here tonight, might have had a different view.

10.39am GMT

71 mins : And here is that Australian change - Kennedy on for Cooney-Cross, Gielnik on for Raso.

10.39am GMT

70 mins : Actually, it’s the US who make a double change first as goalscorer Hatch and Perce goe off to be replaced by Weaver and Mewis.

10.38am GMT

69 mins : Once again, the USA find a way through the Matildas’ defence but again they’re lacking a killer touch as Williams scoops her shot over the bar. You’ve have expected her to at least hit the target there.

10.36am GMT

68 mins : It’s Alanna Kennedy and Emily Gielnik who are likely about to enter the fray in a double change for Australia.

10.35am GMT

67 mins : Looks like the Matildas might be making a change soon.

10.34am GMT

66 mins : Carpenter looks to find Kerr with an early ball upfield, but it’s easily cut out and the US can come away with the ball. Producing a quality final ball continues to be Australia’s problem.

10.33am GMT

64 mins : Ooh, Williams clips a ball over towards an unmarked Perce but it’s just out of her reach. No matter, Horan picks the ball up and sends it back over to Williams, but her stooping header is over the bar!

10.31am GMT

63 mins : The crowd noise lifts again as Raso threatens on the right. But again there’s no final ball. Still, she wins a corner - the Matildas’ sixth of the night - which will be taken by Van Egmond.

10.30am GMT

61 mins : Yallop’s cries for a foul as Perce wrestles her to the ground are audible here. She gets her wish.

10.29am GMT

60 mins : Ooh, that’s nice by Simon whose backheel sets Yallop free down the Matildas’ left. Yallop’s cross hangs up in the air, but it lacks the kind of pace or whip that would really trouble the American defence.

10.27am GMT

59 mins : That really was a terrific save from Williams, and she’s again in the action as she claims the resulting US corner. She looks to get a counterattack on the go immediately, but there aren’t many options.

10.26am GMT

58 mins : Huerta’s throw finds Horan, who in turn finds Lynn Williams. She shoots on target, but is denied by a diving, fingertip save from Lydia Williams!

10.24am GMT

56 mins : Fox gets the better of Raso in the latest instalment of their duel, as the American concedes a corner after a lovely through pass from Kerr found Raso.

10.23am GMT

54 mins : The USA are so slick in possession. Here Huerta, Horan and then Lavelle all demonstrate their skill on the ball before the latter blasts the ball high and wide of Lydia Williams’s goal.

10.22am GMT

53 mins : The official crowd number is just above 20,000. A new record in Newcastle apparently.

10.21am GMT

52 mins : Kyah Simon delights the crowd with a run across the middle of the park that sees her stumble and nearly crawl along while still in possession.

10.19am GMT

51 mins : Catley piles into Lavelle, hard but fair. The Australian seems to have fully recovered from that head knock in the first half.

10.18am GMT

50 mins : Huerta and Fox look to link up but the former’s return pass to the latter is cut out and the US move forward breaks down.

10.17am GMT

48 mins : I realise that orange slices are the snack of choice for many at half-time but can confirm that Bulla Crunch strawberry ice creams are an acceptable substitute for non-players.

10.16am GMT

47 mins : Sam Kerr! She skips around the challenge of Cook on the edge of the box after having been found by Raso, but she drags her shot well side of Murphy’s upright.

10.13am GMT

Second half under way

46 mins : Hatch gets us back under way in Newcastle. No changes to tell you about at the break.

10.09am GMT

Graham Arnold is on the telly now. The Socceroos coach is asked what advice he’d give in the Australian dressing room at half-time.

“You’ve got be brave you’ve got to get out there and put the pressure on the US.”

He points to Raso and Carpenter as keys to doing that.

10.04am GMT

It really should have been more though, as they made several clearcut chances to increase their lead after the opener went in after just four minutes. The Matildas struggled to fashion any gilt-edged chances of their own and the closest they came was Kyra Cooney-Crosses volley from range which was tipped onto the bar by Casey Murphy. Ashley Hatch’s opener – her second in two games – remains the difference for now.

10.00am GMT

45+2 mins : Nothing further to report before the half-time whistle sounds. And the USA go in at the break a goal to the good, as they did four days ago.

Updated at 10.04am GMT

9.57am GMT

45 mins : Two minutes of added time to be played at the end of the opening period.

9.55am GMT

44 mins : So close to a second for the USA as the first half draws to a close! Willians takes on Nevin before crossing to the back post where Perce surely must score! No! Into the side netting as she slides in to meet the ball!

9.54am GMT

43 mins : Horan looks to find Lavelle with a pinged cross into the Australian box... the ball flashes across the face of goal and all the way through to safety.

9.52am GMT

41 mins : Carpenter’s getting forward a lot more now - here she goes again, set free by Raso, but her attempt to play an early ball across is cut out easily enough.

9.51am GMT

40 mins : Carpenter now bombs forward before delivering a decent cross which Kerr meets by running in across the face of her marker. She makes a good connection but it’s over the bar!

9.50am GMT

39 mins : There’s a whiff of anticipation in the air as Kerr finds Fowler on the edge of the box. She plays it wide to Simon before it comes to Cooney-Cross . Her cross in appears to strike a US hand! Nothing doing says the ref.

9.48am GMT

37 mins : Raso’s a tough cookie though and she’s up on her feet before too long. That duel down the near touchline is fascinating.

9.47am GMT

36 mins : It’s Fox’s turn now to storm forward, with Raso in tow. Just as the American releases the ball the pair tumble to the ground in a heap and Raso is slow to get up. Replays show Fox to have fallen awkwardly on top of Raso’s shoulder. The crowd lets out a collective wince as it’s shown on the big screen.

9.45am GMT

35 mins : Carpenter looks to find Raso, but her ball down the line is overhit and it runs out for a goal kick.

9.45am GMT

34 mins : Williams again is at the centre of all things good for the USA as her clever ball through finds Horan. The ball doesn’t quite fall right for her though and Williams is able to make a block after rushing off her line!

9.43am GMT

33 mins : Raso gets the ball on the right again now, but her early ball looking for Kerr in the middle drifts into the arms of Murphy who, again, has not put a foot wrong tonight - on just her second appearance for the USA.

9.42am GMT

32 mins : Brilliant from Lynn Williams with her first touch to get away from Nevin as the USA again threaten. Nevin appears to pull the American back but if so, she gets away with it. Crucially it puts Williams off her stride and the chance vanishes.

9.41am GMT

31 mins : The ref calls up Raso for a challenge on Sullivan, a decision neither the Everton player nor the Novocastrian crowd like too much.

9.40am GMT

30 mins : Catley is good to re-enter the fray. Van Egmond plays with fire at the back as she turns inside and nearly gets dispossessed in what would be quite possibly the worst place to lose the ball. She gets away with it this time.

9.39am GMT

29 mins : Eventually play gets back under way but the Matildas are a woman down for the time being.

9.38am GMT

27 mins : Catley’s up, to cheers from the crowd, but she looks groggy and will have to head off before she can carry on.

9.37am GMT

26 mins : Catley’s down injured here, following a clash of heads with Perce. The American seems to be fine, but there’ll be a break in play while Catley is treated. That gives both sides a chance to take a drink and get some instructions from their coaches on the sidelines.

9.35am GMT

25 mins : Some neat footwork from Kerr nearly ends with Fowler breaking forward. The ball ends up with Yallop on the left, but again her cross isn’t great and Murphy claims easily.

9.35am GMT

24 mins : The corner is cleared, but only as far as Nevin who fancies her chances from range. Well over the bar this time, but probably worth a crack.

9.34am GMT

23 mins : Carpenter now sets off on a trademark burst forward... she slips as she attempts to cross but wins a corner nevertheless.

9.32am GMT

22 mins : The decibel level in the stands rise sharply as Raso wins the ball on the right and centres towards Kerr. It doesn’t really sit for the captain though and the USA are able to clear their lines.

9.31am GMT

21 mins : Cooney-Cross off the post! What a volley from the Australian midfielder! In fact it’s Murphy who gets a crucial hand to the ball, to divert it onto the upright!

9.30am GMT

20 mins : Down to the other end and the Matildas win another corner, which is taken by Catley...

9.30am GMT

18 mins : Brilliant build up play from the USA here - Horan, Fox and Lavelle are all involved before Lavelle clips a lovely ball through to the onrushing Horan. Williams (Lydia) is off her line in a flash and manages to punch clear. She also gets a piece of Horan, who is flagged offside while lying on the ground. She gets up quick enough though and we’re all good to carry on.

9.28am GMT

17 mins : Phew, it’s been a hectic opening period of this game. Barely time to draw breath.

9.26am GMT

16 mins : Fowler’s class shines through as she slips through a ball for Kerr to run on to. But Kerr, looking to find a teammate in the middle, slips at a crucial moment and the danger passes.

9.26am GMT

15 mins : Hatch again! Another chance for the USA goes begging as her header is directed straight at a grateful Williams. Still, the Australian defence is exposed.

9.25am GMT

14 mins : Here go Raso and Fox again, shoulder-to-shoulder. This time the ref doesn’t like Raso’s aggression and she’s pulled up.

9.24am GMT

13 mins : No dice from the corner, nor from a second moments later. But the Matildas keep up the pressure, as Nevin pumps the ball back in. But that’s what’s lacking at the moment for the hosts - a decent final ball.

9.22am GMT

12 mins : Raso streaks clear down the Australia right now... she hares into the box but Davidson gets back after a lung-busting run to block the attempted cross. Corner to the Matildas!

9.21am GMT

11 mins : Lynn Williams! Oh, that should have been two! The American darts across her defender to get her head to a cross but it’s wide of the mark.

9.20am GMT

9 mins : The USA defence holds firm this time and the visitors are able to bring the ball upfield. It ends up with Fox who tries to take on Raso - it’s a ding-dong battle between those two already. Raso wins out this time and it’s a goal kick to Australia.

9.18am GMT

8 mins : Simon wins a corner after some hesitation from Cook in the US defence... nothing comes of it but the Matildas keep possession and can mount another attack here.

9.17am GMT

6 mins : Here goes Kerr for the first time now, set free by Fowler. A backheel from the Australian captain finds the overlapping Yallop, whose cross isn’t great and is easy for Casey Murphy to claim in the US goal.

9.16am GMT

5 mins : Amazing really. In just the fourth minute, the signs had already been there. The USA are so dangerous when they come out like that, and the gaps in the Australian defence are still evident.

9.15am GMT

Goal! Australia 0-1 USA (Hatch 4)

4 mins : The USA take the lead early once again! And again it’s a ball in behind Catley - beautifully executed by Lynn Wiliams - that causes problems. Purce gets the byline and pulls it back to Hatch who finishes with aplomb!

9.12am GMT

2 mins : Ooh! Hatch gets in behind Catley and pokes the ball goalwards, only to be denied by Lydia Williams! The USA have started in much the same vein as they did on Saturday.

9.11am GMT

1 mins : Hearts in mouths as the clock reaches 27 seconds and Williams’ muscualer run gets her to the byline where she centres, but straight into her namesake, Lydia’s arms. Better start for the weekend then, just.

9.10am GMT

First half under way

1 min : Off we go in Newcastle as Cooney-Cross gets proceedings started. It’ll be interesting to see exactly how the Matildas line up. Gustavsson said before kick-off his selection allows him flexibility, with both a 3-4-3 and a 4-3-3 available to him with the players on the pitch.

9.06am GMT

The Star Spangled Banner follows, and then Advance Australia Fair (no sign of the Wiggles tonight), and with those out of the way, we’re pretty much good to go!

9.04am GMT

Here’s the traditional Welcome to Country, beautifully delivered and warmly received by the crowd.

9.02am GMT

Here come the teams, to fireworks being let off into the night sky, and then green and gold flares. No pyro, no party in Newcastle!

9.00am GMT

Just five minutes to kick-off. Not quite the 30,000-plus that were in Sydney on Saturday, but nevertheless it looks like a healthy crowd for a cold Tuesday night in Newcastle.

8.53am GMT

The tireless Hayley Raso starts tonight, as she completes her return from injury in a Matildas shirt.

“I’m only just coming back in so it’s been a little bit of a rusty start finding my feet,” she told my colleague Emma Kemp. “But I’ve done that now.”

More here:

Related: Manchester City’s Hayley Raso: ‘My book is for my brother and family’

8.46am GMT

The 2019 Ballon d’Or Féminin winner Megan Rapinoe may be missing tonight, but Sam Kerr will lead out the Matildas tonight, fresh from coming third in this year’s vote. The Chelsea striker’s stellar season for Chelsea and Australia was rewarded, coming in behind Alexia Putellas and Jennifer Hermoso, the Barcelona and Spain pair.

“I feel proud just to be on that list so to be third it hasn’t really sunk in yet but I feel really proud and honoured that I was before a lot of great names,” Kerr has just told Channel 10.

Perhaps strangely, there was was one US player on the list - Samantha Mewis, who polled 14th in the final vote.

Related: Alexia Putellas and Lionel Messi named 2021 Ballon d’Or winners

Updated at 8.47am GMT

8.41am GMT

Weather report : Saturday’s game was played out in soggy conditions as rain lashed the east coast. Tonight... there are dark skies in Newcastle, but no rain at the moment.

8.37am GMT

Team news

The starting lineups are in.

There’s no Caitlin Foord – who has an FA Cup final with Arsenal to think about at the weekend – for the Matildas tonight, one of three changes to Tony Gustavsson’s starting XI. Nevin keeps her place at the back, but her central defensive partner on Saturday Nash drops to the bench. Teagan Micah joins her on the pine as Lydia Williams get the nod in goal, while Kyra Cooney-Cross comes into the midfield. Hayley Raso starts for the first time since returning from injury and Emily Gielnik, who didn’t feature at all on Saturday, gets a place on the bench.

For the US, there’s just one change as Sofia Huerta comes into the starting XI at the back as Emily Sonnett drops to the bench. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and all that.

Updated at 8.41am GMT

8.31am GMT

Preamble

For the second time in just over a month, Australia complete a Saturday-Tuesday double-header against world class opposition. But whereas October’s mini-series against Brazil started off well for the Matildas – with a 3-1 win in game one – they will tonight be looking to recover from a 3-0 weekend thrashing first time out against the world champions.

That result in Sydney was not helped by the absence of key defenders Clare Polkinghorne and Alanna Kennedy, nor by a calamitous start from their replacements – the inexperienced central defensive pairing of 19-year-old Courtney Nevin and 17-year-old debutant Jessika Nash. How coach Tony Gustavsson acts to mend his leaky defence may be key to tonight’s outcome in Newcastle, with Polkinghorne still out and Kennedy starting on the bench as she comes back from a quad injury.

Gustavsson, typically, remained upbeat after the defeat at Stadium Australia, pointing to his side’s “preparation mode” for the upcoming Asian Cup and beyond that, the 2023 World Cup on home soil, that means they try to play the scoreboard “blind” – in other words he doesn’t care too much about results, but it’s all about gaining experience and being tested by the best teams in the world.

“If I wanted to build that kind of false confidence, I would stick with some simple games and win some games and then people talk about ‘it looks so good’,” Gustavsson said. “But then maybe that would also be a little bit naive because when it comes to tournaments [where] you play the best teams, you’re not really ready.”

Even an understrength and inexperienced USA – who didn’t travel with the likes of big names Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan – can certainly provide another test and tonight’s game at McDonald Jones Stadium promises intrigue, one way or another.

Kick-off is 8:05pm local, 4:05am on the east coast of the States. Full team news coming up, so stick with us. In the meantime, feel free to get in touch, either via email (mike.hytner@theguardian.com) or Twitter ( @mike_hytner ).

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