The 2017 Tournament of Nations kicked off on July 27 and featured two matches: Brazil vs. Japan, and the U.S. vs. Australia. While team Brazil made the final push to tie Japan before the game ended, Australia did the opposite and held their game until they were victorious. The 2017 Tournament of Nations began with a historic mark; Australia has finally beaten the United States in a soccer game.
Australia’s Tameka Butt gave her country the lead in the 67th minute of the game with a kick that will go down in history. Butt’s shot would end up being the goal that sent Australia to their first win over the U.S. women’s national team in history. Australians everywhere celebrated the goal, but didn’t know that it would be the winner just yet.
The United States had several opportunities to tie up the game but couldn’t capitalize on a goal. Australia kept their defense high and did everything possible to prevent a U.S. goal to tie the game. The U.S. was 25-0-2 against Australia’s Matildas prior to the historic match, and was considered a likely winner in their opening match of the tournament.
The United States is currently ranked first in the world for their elite women’s soccer team, but the seventh place Australians mustered up enough determination to take their first win over the U.S. Both the U.S. and Australians have some of the best goal scorers in the league, but the match turned out to be a game of determination. Australia might be ranked seventh currently, but this team is looking to continue climbing the scale.
Australia is determined to make a splash in the tournament and are already off to an incredibly good start. According to the tournament’s format, Australia leads the four other nations with three points after one round robin game. Countries will receive one point for match ties and three points for match wins, which places Australia at the front.
There is still some games to be played, though, before the round robin is finished and any team can take the lead back. Despite the coming games, Australia will look to hold their own the same way they did against the U.S. The four elite women’s soccer teams, United States, Brazil, Australia, and Japan, will be headed to San Diego, California, for their next matches on July 30.
Australia’s next match will be against sixth place Japan in an afternoon match at Qualcomm Stadium on July 30. While the Matildas will be facing Japan, who tied in their opening match against Brazil, Team USA will take on eighth place Brazil later that day.
The Matildas have the potential to lead the Tournament of Nations with six points if they can top Japan while the U.S. needs at least a tie against Brazil to keep in good standing. With Australia’s history-making win, anything can happen in the next couple of games, so it is still too early to make any big tournament predictions. However, the Matildas are definitely feeling on top of the world after a win that big.
The excitement continues on Sunday, and after the history that Australia made on Thursday night, anything can happen.
[Featured Image by Otto Greule, Jr./Getty Images]