(Reuters) – A second half goal from Tameka Butt fired Australia’s women’s team to a 1-0 win over the United States in a friendly in Seattle on Thursday, their first ever victory over the world champions.
The Matildas withstood huge pressure from the top-ranked Americans in the first and last quarters of the Tournament of Nations clash but Butt’s cool 67th minute finish after a defensive mix-up proved decisive.
Former FIFA Player of the Year Carli Lloyd almost grabbed the equalizer with a searing drive in the 70th minute but outstanding Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams parried it away with one of a string of clutch saves.
A first defeat for the three-times World Cup winners and four-times Olympic champions in 28 meetings with Australia is sure to pile even more pressure on coach Jill Ellis, who had been under fire after two previous home losses this year.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Sudipto Ganguly)