US men’s basketball team loses its first game in nearly 13 years to Australia
(CNN) — For over a decade, the United States maintained its dominance in global men’s soccer. When Team USA dropped its first match into Australia since 2006 all of that changed Saturday.
The Boomers, ranked 11th by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), won its first game against No. 1 ranked USA, beating the team 98-94. The game has been played having a crowd of over 52,000 Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, the largest audience to watch basketball in Australia.
The US had won 78 games directly in exhibitions and major tournaments before Saturday’s World Cup display matchup.
“The Aussies gave us a terrific lesson as far as where we must be and we need to play in this kind of competition,” US head coach Gregg Popovich said after the match. “So, we’ll get accustomed to that and hopefully learn.”
The loss comes two days after the US beat Australia 102-86 on Thursday. The previous time Team USA lost was during the FIBA World Championship’s 2006 semifinals.
“Nobody wins forever,” Popovich said.
The US’ exhibition is Monday from Canada in Sydney before going to the World Cup in China. There the two-time defending World Cup winner will face the Czech Republic.