US forward Mallory Pugh (second from left) moves the ball away from Australia's Lisa De Vanna, Tameka Butt and Elise Kellond-Knight.
US forward Mallory Pugh (second from left) moves the ball away from Australia's Lisa De Vanna, Tameka Butt and Elise Kellond-Knight. Ted S. Warren

WATCH: Matildas make history by upsetting USA

AUSTRALIA has opened its Tournament of Nations campaign with an historic win against the USA, the country's first ever in women's football against the world No.1.

Tameka Butt's clutch 67th-minute finish handed Alan Stajcic's side a deserved lead and the world No.7 held out against the World Cup winners for the first win in 27 matches played between the countries since 1987.

A major reason for the Matildas holding on can be put down to Lydia Williams. The goalkeeper made a flying acrobatic stop to thwart US superstar Carli Lloyd three minutes after the goal, before timing a one-on-one intervention to divert Crystal Dunn in the 87th minute after the substitute crept in behind the defence to latch on to Kelley O'Hara's cross.

Australia's win was even more impressive given they had to weather a rampant USA start, where the hosts dictated the tempo and possession over the opening 20 minutes.

Once Australia got a grip of proceedings, with Katrina Gorry pulling the strings, it was well worth its second-half lead, finding the finishing touch to some generally positive and high-tempo play.

Samantha Kerr, unsurprisingly, was a menace all afternoon in Seattle, while veteran Lisa De Vanna showed she has not lost much of her pace, causing problems in behind, particularly when combining with Elise Kellond-Knight.

As the game stretched and the US reacted angrily to going 1-0 down, Alana Kennedy and Stephanie Catley were immense in Australia's rearguard.

Australia's next game is against Japan on Monday, after it drew 1-1 with Brazil in their opening game.

News Corp Australia


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