A new-look Matildas side went down to USA in their first test at Stadium Australia last weekend, so revenge was on their mind as they prepared to face off in Newcastle on Tuesday night.
Steph Catley, Mary Fowler and Hayley Raso were restored to the starting line-up while Lydia Williams was between the sticks for Tony Gustavsson’s side.
Meanwhile, it was almost an unchanged line-up for the USA with Sofia Huerta the only new face in Newcastle.
From the first whistle there were shades of the weekend’s fixture with the USA once again starting the brighter. An early coming together between Ashley Hatch and Williams placing the Matildas’ rearguard on notice.
It soon turned into a case of déjà vu with Hatch doing what she did in Sydney last Saturday as she broke the deadlock in the 4th minute.
The American striker waited in anticipation near the penalty spot before dispatching Margaret Purce’s cutback to silence the home support.
The visitors’ remained well structured after going ahead but both Raso and Kyah Simon were trying their best to stretch their opponents down the wings.
A continued period of possession eventually translated into a promising opportunity for the Matildas with Kyra Cooney Cross’ half volley from outside the box forcing Casey Murphy to palm the ball into the post before the danger passed.
The Matildas best attacking avenue was proving to be down the right wing with Raso and the overlapping Ellie Carpenter making a nuisance of themselves. The duo were next to cause an issue for the visitors when Carpenter overlapped her teammate before being played in by an expertly weighted through ball.
The Olympique Lyonnais defender swung in a delightful cross for Sam Kerr whose header could not quite stay on target as it rose over the crossbar.
As the first half drew to a close, USA almost doubled their lead via Purce who struck the side netting after Lynn Williams’ cross flew across the Matildas’ box unchallenged.
The second half brought renewed hope for the hosts who began with a Sam Kerr strike that sent a warning to the Americans after a superb individual run from Raso that saw her breakthrough the heart of the US.
The visitors remained resolute and just before the hour mark conjured up an opportunity thanks to Williams whose shot forced an intelligent save from her namesake in the Matildas’ goal.
A penalty scare almost derailed any hopes of a Matildas comeback with the referee waving away what seemed like quite substantial contact by Carpenter on Kristie Mewis.
As the half wore on, the home side were throwing everything they had as they were spurred on by a 20,000 plus crowd who were desperate to see their side hit the back of the net.
That highly desired goal eventually arrived through Simon as her strike from outside the box deflected off US defender Becky Sauerbrunn and settled in the back of the net with two minutes remaining.
The fans were now in full voice as injury time drew to a close but that was not the end of the goalmouth drama with the Americans having a goal chalked off after captain Lindsey Horan was adjudged offside when she poked home.
That drew an end to the action as the Matildas secured a hard-earned draw against the US to make up for their 3-0 defeat in their first meeting last Saturday.