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Gone in 24 seconds: Matildas draw record crowd but familiar failings cost them in US defeat

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27th November, 2021
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Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson is sure to face fan ire after another disappointing reality check as the Australians were beaten 3-0 by the United States in Sydney.

The Australian anthem was sung by The Wiggles and there was a preschool feel to Australia’s defending from the kickoff as the USA strolled through and scored after just 24 seconds in front of a record home crowd of 36,109.

Australia should have levelled Ashley Hatch’s strike before the break with Kyah Simon missing from mere yards out and the goal gaping – a chance Wags the Dog would have buried like a bone.

Instead, the Matildas’ started the second half as they had the first, with Rose Lavelle the beneficiary of some sleepy defending. Captain Lindsey Horan scored the third from the penalty spot in the 68th minute after tumbling when barely touch – if at all – by Ellie Carpenter.

Simon’s miss aside, Australia diod create enough chances to give themselves a chance of beating a weakened US team for just the second time ever.

But 1.85m US goalkeeper Casey Murphy was outstanding, leaping high to tip over Sam Kerr’s long range shot that was destined for the top corner, and acrobatically denying Caitlin Foord and Mary Fowler.

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Fowler, Australia’s best player, also set Kerr free in the box on the left but Murphy managed to deny a shot across her bows towards the far corner.

Kerr, who had suffered a bout of gastro in the lead up to the game, last and hour and had a chance to cut the margin just before coming off – only to head straight at Murphy from close range.

With Alanna Kennedy (quad) and Clare Polkinghorne (rested) missing, Gustavsson paired 17-year-old debutant Jessika Nash and 19-year-old Courtney Nevin, playiong in her sixth match in the heart of defence, and they had a horror start.

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