With one strike across her body into the top right corner, Lisa De Vanna proved she is still one of the most important players for the Matildas.

De Vanna’s 29th minute equaliser came at a crucial time for the Matildas – who up until then had been on the back foot against the US – before nearly assisting captain Sam Kerr with a pin-point diagonal pass.

Head coach Ante Milicic will have plenty of selection dilemmas ahead of the World Cup but the former FFA Female Footballer of the Year should not be one of them.

There is no doubt about it, De Vanna is a player for the big occasions – even at 34.

Her ability to run at defences and utilise space makes her a dangerous attacking option – not to mention her incredible vision and distribution.

Image: Football Federation Australia

Despite being substituted on the hour mark, De Vanna applied plenty of pressure on the US defence down the right-hand side.

In a tournament where matches will be decided by key moments and individual brilliance – especially in the latter stages – the 2003 Julie Dolan medalist will make an impact if selected.

Despite going down to the US there were plenty of positives in addition to a few learning curves, according to Milicic.

It was just the second time in 28 matches the US had conceded three goals and the first time in seven years the Matildas had conceded five.

Teen sensation Mary Fowler also impressed when coming on late in the match, with Milicic having a big decision to make over whether he includes the 16-year-old in the squad – especially given the international tug-of-war with Ireland over her international allegiance.

The Matildas commence their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign against Italy on June 9.

Athos Sirianos