Tameka Butt’s second-half strike has given the Matildas a first victory over women’s soccer powerhouse the United States.
Australia took it up to the world champions and were richly rewarded on Friday in their meeting at the Tournament of Nations.
One of Australian sport’s longest hoodoos was ended by the Matildas’ vibrant and cohesive display in Seattle.
Butt scored the only goal of the game in the 67th minute.
Emily Van Egmond flicked a ball over the American defence to the waiting Butt, who steadied and lashed the ball past Alyssa Naeher from short range.
The landmark result ends the USA’s long domination over Australia in women’s soccer.
Not in 27 previous meetings had the Matildas beaten the US, and not in 12 years had Australia even drawn.
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But the effervescent display will have Alen Stajcic’s side dreaming of bigger things at next year’s Asian Cup and the 2019 World Cup.
Butt said the team felt on top of the world but weren’t surprised by the historical result.
“That’s the atmosphere in the changing room right now … it’s a big night for us,” she said.
“But we went into the game knowing and believing in our ability that it was a great chance to beat them.
“To do it while they are number one and in their home country was the icing on the cake.”
The Matildas had winners across the park.
Katrina Gorry was bright in midfield. Sam Kerr took it up to the American defence and Caitlin Foord was busy.
Alanna Kennedy’s strong defensive marshalling ensured the Matildas could attack from the back against the world No.1 side.
Lydia Williams was immense in the Australian goal.
On 11 minutes, she denied in-form veteran Megan Rapinoe with a one-handed stop at the near post, following that effort up with two strong saves to deny world player of the year Carli Lloyd.
Williams’ finest moment came with five minutes remaining when she produced a one-on-one save to stop Crystal Dunn with a trailing leg.
Stajcic said Williams was superb in a team full of bright performances.
“How do you single out people after a performance like that?” he said.
“Elise Kellond-Knight hadn’t played a game in six or seven weeks and Ellie Carpenter hasn’t played since February … to see how they could run out 90 minutes against the world champions shows how far we’ve come and the character within the team.”
The hosts finished the stronger as they desperately sought an equaliser.
It never came, putting Australia on top of the standings after the opening day of the friendly tournament.
The earlier match between Japan and Brazil — the Matildas’ next-up opponents on Sunday and next Friday respectively — finished 1-1.