The New Zealand's women's football team were denied a late penalty as they fought back against a strong United States side at the Olympics this morning.
The Football Ferns lost the quarter final game 2-0, but an incident in the 85th minute, with the game delicately poised at 1-0, may have cost them the match.
The US, three times Olympic champions, have won all their games so far in the tournament, and proved to be stronger opposition than even the Brazilian and British teams the Ferns faced in the group stage.
As expected, the Americans took control of the game and created several clear cut opportunities in the first 25 minutes but failed to capitalise on two occasions with the goal at their mercy.
Their breakthrough came in the 27th minute after some lovely footwork from Alex Morgan on the edge of the box and a killer through ball to the far post where Abby Wambach was able to poke home from close range.
Some dogged defending and a reluctance to give up allowed the Ferns to keep the difference at just one goal, and as the clock ticked down they started to apply their own pressure on the US defence.
Substitute Rosie White proved to be the spark, and in the 85th minute she managed to squeeze through two defenders only to be brought down from behind in the penalty area.
The referee did not award the penalty, however, which could have taken the game to extra time.
As the Ferns pushed forward, the US were able to exploit space at the back and forward Sydney Leroux got the decisive goal as she held off a challenge from Rebecca Smith and finished confidently, shooting across goalkeeper Jenny Bindon.
The US will now face the winners of the match between hosts Britain and Canada, while the Ferns will reflect on an encouraging performance against top opposition.