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Tokyo Olympics LIVE updates: Fox denied gold by cruel penalty; Matildas, Opals in action

Both sides know they will progress to the last eight with a point apiece here and with six minutes plus stoppage time remaining, it looks like they have settled for the draw.

Sweden are leading New Zealand and will top the group with three wins from three, with the US second on goal difference ahead of Australia, both having four points.

Belgium have taken control, leading 71-63 with 3:33 to play. This would be a fair boilover.

A quarter of an hour to go and it remains scoreless between the Matildas and the Americans.

Megan Rapinoe.

Megan Rapinoe.Credit:Getty

It might count as a moral victory, but it won’t be enough to see them finish ahead of the Americans. If they go through to the quarter finals as one of the best third placed teams they will face either GB or Canada.

A scoring drought of over four minutes cost the Opals dearly in that third term as Emma Meesseman and co took Belgium back into the lead.

Things were looking solid for the Opals midway through the term but they couldn’t make a shot from inside or out until Rebecca Allen nailed a three with 20 seconds left in the quarter.

Leilani Mitchell drives past Julie Allemand.

Leilani Mitchell drives past Julie Allemand.Credit:Getty Images

Guard Tess Madgen came up huge on the final play, nailing a three from the corner that gave her side a 57-56 lead going into the last quarter.

They might not have deserved it but in games such as this you just need to find a way to win. That will be the Opals’ sole aim in this last term.

US superstar Megan Rapinoe bows out with 25 minutes remaining, replaced by Tobin Heath, while Melbourne Victory’s grand final heroine Kyra Cooney-Cross comes into the match for Chloe Logarzo.

Some worrying moments for Australia as flying wing-back Ellie Carpenter receives treatment on her hamstring.

69 minutes played.

The Matildas continued in similar vein after the restart and Mary Fowler, making her first start in a major tournament at the age of 18, went close with a shot into the side netting after linking well with Sam Kerr.

Alex Morgan

Alex MorganCredit:Getty

But keeper Teagan Micah had to be alert moments later to save at the other end after Christen Press accelerated past Ellie Carpenter and got a shot off. Megan Rapinoe is a celebrated figure in world sport, but she has done little in this game so far except get booked in the first half for a foul on Micah.

The Opals denied Belgium their outside shot for all but the final seconds of the second term but a slight mistake cost them a buzzer-beating three. Still, the Opals lead 41-37 at the break after Belgium’s Antonia Delaere found room after a broken play to let fly from outside.

Jenna O’Hea in action.

Jenna O’Hea in action.Credit:Getty

Otherwise Melbourne Boomers bigs Ezi Magbegor and Cayla George dominated that quarter with Magbegor scoring from all over the key and George slipping into space at the top of the key to nail two threes and then fake the defenders into opening the lane for her to drive and score.

Magbegor has 14 points while Katie Ebzery (11 points) and George (10 points) lead the Opals while WNBA star Emma Meesseman (10 points) and dangerous guard Julie Allemand (10 points) are a constant threat.

Ebzery also continued to drive her side with extra efforts including an offensive rebound and putback in the closing stages of the term. Belgium won’t give up so the Opals have to keep locking down defensively in the second half, if they defend well then it’s hard to see them losing this one.

The Matildas have plenty of reasons to be cheerful after a solid first half in which they have given as good as they have got against the world champions.

Sure, Alex Morgan did have the ball in the net for the Americans, but her header was ruled out after she was judged to be fractionally offside as the Australian defence pushed out to defend a cross from the right.

Other than that the Matildas were relatively comfortable and posed plenty of problems at the other end themselves.

Ellie Carpenter and Christen Press during the first half.

Ellie Carpenter and Christen Press during the first half.Credit:Getty

Mary Fowler hit the bar and Steph Catley in particular asked numerous questions of the US defence with well-flighted free kicks, which on occasion left the Americans flustered and happy to hack the ball to safety.

All is to play for, and the Matildas definitely have it in them to get something out of this game.

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