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USWNT ties with Australia, advances to soccer knockouts

A win or a tie would have seen the Americans through Group G and on to the next round.
Australia's Emily Van Egmond, and United States' Alex Morgan battle for the ball during a women's soccer match on Tuesday, in Kashima, Japan.Fernando Vergara / AP

The U.S. Women's soccer team's dream of taking home the Olympic gold is still alive, after the team secured passage to the next round with a 0-0 draw against Australia Tuesday.

The United States took on the Matildas, as the the Australian team are affectionately known, in Kashima, 70 miles east of Tokyo, in a tight contest that petered out to a stalemate towards the end.

A win or a tie would have seen the Americans through Group G as second-place qualifiers and on to the next round. Australia are also likely to progress.

After a stunning 3-0 loss in their opening match against Sweden, the United States rebounded with a convincing 6-1 win versus New Zealand. And now having faced another antipodean rival without losing, the Americans play in the quarter-final knockout stage on Friday morning. The U.S. opponent on Friday has yet to be decided.

In a rare occasion for this Olympics, there were fans in the stadium to watch the match, albeit a small crowd of 1,000 local schoolchildren.

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The first period saw high levels of Australia possession and some chances, but no goals. Australia's Mary Fowler came close with a header that looped onto the crossbar.

The U.S. put the ball in the net in the 31st minute, but Alex Morgan's goal following a corner kick was disallowed after the video assistant referee ruled it offside by a fine margin.

U.S. fans on social media weren't convinced by that call, some musing that Morgan was ruled offside by the length of her ponytail.

Australian captain Sam Kerr burst into the U.S. penalty area just before half-time and looked certain to score, only for American midfielder Julie Ertz to intervene with a crucial and well-time diving tackle.

The second half lacked the action of the first as both teams appeared to settle for the draw