Carli Lloyd had an 11th-hour attempt that was saved by the Australia goalkeeper. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
SEATTLE, Wash. – The U.S. women’s national team dropped a 1-0 decision to Australia in the first match of the Tournament of Nations Thursday night.
The U.S. opened with a strong effort and almost created a goal in the 11th minute after some nice footwork from forward Christen Press outside the box found Megan Rapinoe on the left side. Rapinoe’s shot went to the near post but Australia and Houston Dash goalkeeper Lydia Williams pushed it out for a corner kick.
Australia found its stride in the second half with some excellent defensive pressure and its efforts paid off in a goal that came from a corner kick. In the 67th minute the U.S. failed to clear a bouncing ball in the penalty area despite a chance to sweep it out of danger. The ball fell to Tameka Butt, who finished from close-range after a scramble for a 1-0 Australia lead.
The USA had three excellent chances to equalize, but Williams came up huge. None bigger than a flying save in the 64 th minute when second-half substitute Carli Lloyd drilled a 20-yard shot that was headed into the upper right corner before it was pushed away by the goalkeeper.
In an earlier match, a late equalizer from Camila in the 87th minute helped Brazil earn a 1-1 draw with Japan after Yuka Momiki had given them a second-half lead.