Matildas let three points slip away
FOOTBALL: An 88th-minute equaliser from German captain Saskia Bartusiak has denied Australia's women a famous victory to leave their Olympic campaign hanging by a thread.
A win would have boosted the Matildas' chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals but now they must beat Zimbabwe on Wednesday morning (AEST) in Salvador to give them any chance of making the last eight.
Victory over the Africans will give the Matildas three points which they hope will be enough to qualify as one of two best third-placed sides.
After the 2-0 loss to Canada in their opening group match, Allen Stacjic's team needed to regroup against the No.2 ranked team in the world and got off to the perfect start.
Samantha Kerr capitalised on some good work from Caitlin Foord to slam home inside six minutes to stun the Germans.
Goalkeeper Lydia Williams kept the opposition at bay with some great saves in the first half before doubled the lead just before the break.
Lisa de Vanna, the only survivor from the Matildas' last Olympics tournament in Athens in 2004, nutmegged the defender before squaring for Foord to squeeze the ball home ahead of the advancing German keeper.
It would have been the perfect end to a perfect first half but right on the stroke of half-time Sara Daebritz scored a goal out of nothing to give the Germans hope.
Both sides traded chances throughout the second period, though seldom did Australia relinquish control of the game.
The Matildas looked like getting a well-deserved victory until Bartusiak equalised from a goalmouth scramble near the end of regulation time to leave the Australians to lament two points dropped.