The Matildas remain the only undefeated nation in the Tournament of Nations since the first edition last year and once again they pushed the USA. So what did we learn?
1. Age is just a number
Both sides have been at the forefront of giving young players an opportunity on the national stage. However, there are some games that call for the experience and wisdom of seasoned veterans.
Lisa De Vanna, who is 33-year-old, was arguably the Matildas’ most potent attacking threat in the first half. While her pace pulled the US defenders out of position, her wisdom told her to wait a moment longer before passing to Logarzo, who had sliced in behind to score the opening goal. For the USA, Megan Rapinoe, also 33, was lively and dangerous on the left wing, sending several whipped crosses into the box. She was also responsible for delivering the corner that Lindsey Horan headed home to equalise in the 91st minute.
Both De Vanna and Rapinoe have been part of their national team set-ups for over a decade, and their involvement in each goal goes to show that older players still have a lot to offer their younger teammates.
2. Logarzo is underrated
While Chloe Logarzo’s goal was a tidy finish, her movement off the ball before receiving De Vanna’s pass was sublime. Having played together at Sydney FC during the 2017/18 W-League season, the attacking duo’s chemistry was on display as Logarzo read De Vanna’s charging midfield run. Seeing that De Vanna had pulled USA’s centre-back out of position, Logarzo made a diagonal sprint into the vacated space; she could then receive De Vanna’s pin-point pass and slot the ball into the net unchallenged.
Also NWSL clubs, Chloe Logarzo is the attacking player you have been looking for. https://t.co/MOAGDLqdjg— Ann Odong 🐨 (@AnnOdong) July 30, 2018
From her 22nd minute goal to her tracking back to defend the lightning-quick Crystal Dunn in the 80th minute, Logarzo’s physical efforts cannot be overstated. Her endurance and determination to give her all every minute makes her one of the Matildas’ most valuable players.
3. This is the new normal
After their 1-0 win over the US at the 2017 ToN, the Matildas would have felt the weight of expectation to repeat the feat this year. And for the majority of the game, they looked like they would. Even though the final statistics show the US were the dominant team, the Matildas pushed them to stoppage time before they could score an equaliser through Lindsey Horan.
A win and a draw in their last two meetings proves that Australia is no longer an underdog in women’s football. Results like this, and the 3-1 win against Brazil, are the new normal. The disappointment some fans feel that the Matildas weren’t able to defeat the USA twice in a row is a testament to how far they have come in the last few years.
Effffff 🤕. Disappointed yet proud. It ain’t easy beating the best! #TON2018— Elise Kellond-Knight (@elise_kk8) July 30, 2018