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USWNT falls to Australia 0-1 in Tournament of Nations opener

For the first time in 28 meetings, the USWNT were defeated by the Matildas.

2017 Tournament Of Nations - Australia v United States Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The United States women’s national team (USWNT) lost 0-1 to Australia on the opening night of the Tournament of Nations at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington on Thursday. This loss marks the first time the Australians have beaten the Americans in the series history.

Sky Blue FC’s Sam Kerr started the game for the Australian side, while defender Kelley O’Hara came off the bench in the second half for the United States. The game also featured armbands and a minute of applause in tribute to World Cup and USWNT legendary coach Tony Dicicco, who passed away in June.

As the first half started off, both sides seemed to struggle to put together meaningful possessions. U.S. midfielder and current NWSL golden boot race leader Megan Rapinoe set up a few good opportunities for the US, but none were too much of a threat for the Australians. The Americans showed promising flashes at times, but were unable to put anything together.

The Australian side had a couple of opportunities of their own, the most threatening coming off a bad back pass from the U.S., but they were unable to capitalize on any of them. Throughout the first half, the Australians pressured the U.S. backline and an already struggling midfield with a high press.

The game went into halftime scoreless, and both sides only registered 1 shot on goal for the half.

The Australian side subbed first, bringing in Portland Thorns’ own Hayley Raso. The U.S. quickly followed with three substitutions of their own, replacing Mallory Pugh, Christen Press, and Lindsey Horan with Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd respectively. It is safe to assume that these subs were meant to spur the U.S. attack, but the attack that followed shortly thereafter was not what the American side wanted.

In the 67th minute, Australian midfielder Tameka Butt found herself in the box with the ball and put away the relatively easy shot to put her country up 1-0. The shot was made possible off of a poor set of attempted clearances by the U.S. defense.

The U.S. almost got a goal back in the 70th minute off of a shot from Lloyd from Rapinoe, but Australian goalkeeper Lydia Williams was there with the save.

What could arguably be called the most memorable part of the game occurred when U.S. midfielder Sam Mewis took a boot to the face off of a collision with Butt and injured her nose. Play was halted, and Mewis was taken off for treatment, but was unfortunately not subbed off.

The U.S. used their fourth substitution in the 76th minute when Sky Blue FC’s Kelley O’Hara was brought on to replace Taylor Smith. Morgan Brian was brought on to replace Allie Long in the 77th minute to end the substitutions for the United States.

The U.S. put together several good chances in the final twenty minutes but were unable to finish in the final third. Alex Morgan missed an opportunity in front of goal in the 82nd minute, followed up by Dunn doing the same in the 85th on a set up from O’Hara.

The U.S. attack seemed to lack urgency in the final minutes of the game. When the final whistle blew, the U.S. sat all alone at the bottom of the tournament table, thanks in part to the evening’s earlier game.

Brazil and Japan faced off in the opening game of the doubleheader. The game stayed scoreless until Japan’s Yuka Momiki put one away in the 64th minute to put the Japanese up 1-0. Japan looked to be headed for three points and an opening game win. Everything changed in the 87th minute when Brazilian substitute Camila of the Orlando Pride capitalized on a distribution mistake and scored on a screamer. The game ended in that 1-1 tie.

All four teams will face a quick turnaround with the second day of Tournament of Nations action taking place just three days after the first. The United States will travel to San Diego for their match-up with Brazil on Sunday July 30th at 8 p.m ET. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. In the day’s earlier game, Australia faces off against Japan at 5:15 p.m ET. That game can be watched on ESPN3.

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –

Match: Women’s National Team vs. Australia

Date: July 27, 2017

Competition: Tournament of Nations

Venue: CenturyLink Field; Seattle, Wash.

Kickoff: 7:05 p.m. PT

Attendance: 15,748

Weather: 68 degrees; Partly sunny

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F

USA 0 0 0

AUS 0 1 1

AUS – Tameka Butt (Elise Kellond-Knight) 67th minute

Lineups:

USA : 1-Alyssa Naeher; 16-Taylor Smith (5-Kelley O’Hara, 76), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 14-Casey Short; 22-Mallory Pugh (19-Crystal Dunn, 58), 20-Allie Long (6-Morgan Brian, 77), 3-Samantha Mewis, 15-Megan Rapinoe; 9-Lindsey Horan (10-Carli Lloyd, 64), 23-Christen Press (13-Alex Morgan, 64)

Subs not used : 2-Sydney Leroux, 8-Julie Ertz, 11-Ali Krieger, 12-Lynn Williams, 17-Margaret Purce, 18-Jane Campbell, 21-Abby Smith

Head coach: Jill Ellis

AUS : 1-Lydia Williams (capt.); 7-Steph Catley, 14-Alanna Kennedy, 21-Ellie Carpenter; 8-Elise Kellond-Knight, 9-Caitlin Foord (15-Emily Gielnik, 81), 10-Emily Van Egmond, 13-Tameka Butt (6-Chole Logarzo, 73) 19-Katrina Gorry; 11-Lisa De Vanna (16-Hayley Raso, 53) 20-Sam Kerr (17-Princess Ibini, 90+2)

Subs not used: 18-Mackenzie Arnold; 2-Gema Simon, 3-Caitlin Cooper, 4-Clare Polkinghorn, 5-Laura Alleway

Head coach: Alen Stajcic

Stats Summary: USA / AUS

Shots: 12 / 11

Shots on Goal: 3 / 4

Saves: 3 / 3

Corner Kicks: 6 / 5

Fouls: 11 / 14

Offside: 4 / 2

Misconduct Summary:

AUS – Katrina Gorry (caution) 89th minute

AUS – Lydia Williams (caution) 90+1

Officials:

Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)

Assistant Referee 1: Chantal Boudeau (CAN)

Assistant Referee 2: Marie-Han Gagnon-Chretien (CAN)

4th Official: Maurees Skeete (CAN)

Budweiser Women of the Match: Megan Rapinoe

U.S. Women's National Team Tournament of Nations Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (2): 18- Jane Campbell (Houston Dash;1/0), 1- Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 15/0); 21- Abby Smith (Boston Breakers; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (7): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 4/0), 8- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars: 49/8), 11- Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 98/1); 5- Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC; 96/2), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn(FC Kansas City; 126/0), 7- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 10/0); 16- Taylor Smith (NC Courage; 0/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): 6- Morgan Brian (Houston Dash; 66/6), 10- Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 239/97), 20- Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 27/5), 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 25/4), 17- Margaret Purce (Boston Breakers; 0/0); 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 121/31)

FORWARDS (7): 19- Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC; 52/22), 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 35/3); 2- Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City/ 75/35), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride: 125/73); 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 22- Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), 12- Lynn Williams (NC Courage)

Australia Women's National Team Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Lydia Williams (Houston Dash, USA), 18-Mackenzie Arnold (Brisbane Roar FC)

DEFENDERS (6 ): 3-Caitlin Cooper (Illawarra Stingrays), 4-Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar FC), 5-Laura Alleway (Unattached), 7-Steph Catley (Orlando Pride, USA), 14-Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride, USA), 21-Ellie Carpenter (Western Sydney Wanderers FC)

MIDFIELDERS (8): 2-Gema Simon (Avaldsnes, Norway), 6-Chloe Logarzo (Avaldsnes, Norway), 8-Elise Kellond-Knight (FC Turbine Potsdam, Germany), 9-Caitlin Foord (Vegalta Sendai, Japan), 10-Emily van Egmond (VfL Wolfsburg, Germany), 13-Tameka Butt (Klepp I-L, Norway), 19-Katrina Gorry (Vegalta Sendai, Japan), 22-Alex Chidiac (Adelaide City)

FORWARDS (5): 11-Lisa De Vanna (South Melbourne), 15-Emily Gielnik (Avaldsnes, Norway), 16-Hayley Raso (Portland Thorns, USA), 17-Princess Ibini (Football NSW NTC), 20-Sam Kerr (Sky Blue FC, USA)