U.S., Australia head to OT in water polo semi

Holly Lincoln-Smith (left) and Australia have forced overtime. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Australia’s Ash Southern converted a penalty shot in the final second of regulation to tie their women’s water polo semifinal against the United States at 9 and force overtime.

Melissa Siedemann scored with less than two minutes left to give the U.S. a 9-8 lead and American goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong got a pair of assists from her crossbar in the final moments to preserve the lead. But after a timeout with one second remaining, the U.S. was whistled for a penalty, giving Southern the chance to send the game to overtime. And with a right-handed rifle into the left corner, she did just that.

The teams will play two three minute overtime periods and if the score remains tied at their conclusion, they will proceed to a penalty shootout. Oh, the drama.

The U.S. beat Australia 9-8 in the 2008 Beijing semifinals and went on to take silver.

All but two of the Americans’ games in this tournament have been decided by a single goal – and one of those two was a tie against China.

The game is being shown live on NBC (imagine that!), if your heart can handle an encore after yesterday’s wild women’s soccer semifinal.

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