Matildas hold US to 0-0 draw

Matildas hold US to 0-0 draw
AAP 17 Oct, 2005

An ironclad Australian defence denied the United States women's football team a goal for the first time in 39 matches in a battling scoreless draw in Sunday's friendly at Titan Stadium, Fullarton, California.

The Matildas neutralised a US attack that had scored in every game since drawing 0-0 against China in February 2004.

It took goalline heroics from both teams in the game's dying minutes to keep the match scoreless.

US-based Matilda Selin Kuralay had her 15-metre effort deflected away from goal by American defender Amy LePeilbet on 85 minutes.

Then, in injury-time, Australia's Alicia Ferguson was the hero as she cleared a potential matchwinner from Shannon Boxx.

The Americans had scored 21 goals in their previous six outings and have kept a clean sheet in every match this year.

"I'm very happy with our performance today especially given our travel schedule and the obvious pedigree of the opposition," Matildas coach Tom Sermanni said afterwards in a FFA press release.

"We limited the USA to just a few good chances in the entire match which is testament to some terrific defending on our part but at the same time we also looked comfortable when we had possession."

USA line-up: Hope Solo; Cat Reddick, Amy LePeilbet, Kate Markgraf, Heather Mitts; Marci Miller, Shannon Boxx, Kristine Lilly; Christie Welsh (Tiffeny Milbrett, 58), Danielle Fotopoulos (Aly Wagner, 46), Abby Wambach.

Subs not used: Lorrie Fair, Shannon MacMillan, Angela Hucles, Tina Frimpong, Kristin Luckenbill.

Australia line-up: Melissa Barbieri; Thea Slatyer (Kate McShea, 80), Cheryl Salisbury, Rhian Davies, Heather Garriock; Alicia Ferguson (Kylie Ledbrook, 95), Joanne Peters, Collette McCallum (Leah Blayney, 69), Sally Shipard; Sarah Walsh (Selin Kuralay, 69), Kathryn Gill (Joanne Burgess, 84).

Subs not used: Lana Harch, Lydia Williams

Caution: Reddick 84

The Matildas will take on Mexico next on Wednesday (local time) in El Paso, Texas, before finishing their tour with a match against Sacramento Storm on Saturday.


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