Football Ferns held by Australia
Mon, 25 Jun 2012 3:10a.m.
The Olympic-bound Football Ferns have managed a 1-1 draw against Australia in Wollogong after conceding the equaliser in added time.
The Football Ferns looked on track for their first women's soccer international win over the Matildas since 1994, before defender Thea Slatyer's header found the net in the 93rd minute.
With Australia trailing 1-0 late, New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon was forced to make two brilliant one-handed saves to deny Laura Alleway and teenager Hayley Raso.
But just when it looked like the Football Ferns would break the long-standing drought, Slatyer thudded her header into the back of the net, cancelling out Hayley Moorwood’s diving header in the 50th minute.
The New Zealand team will now aim to win the series at the same venue on Wednesday.
They then head to Switzerland for three friendly games to complete their preparations.
After a scoreless first half, New Zealand were controlling possession after the break and looking threatening.
Hayley Moorwood combined with Hannah Wilkinson in the box without success, then pulled the trigger herself straight at Australia keeper Melissa Barbieri.
But the pressure finally told in the 50th minute when Moorwood headed back at the near post, leaving Barbieri a helpless spectator.
New Zealand won the Oceania confederation to book their spot for London, but Australia missed out in Asian qualification.
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