Australia coach Tom Sermanni praised his players' fighting spirit after the Matildas earned a last-gasp 1-1 draw with Olympics-bound New Zealand in a friendly international in Wollongong on Sunday.
The Football Ferns looked on track for their first win over the Matildas since 1994 before defender Thea Slatyer's header found the net in the 93rd minute.
With Australia trailing 1-0 late, New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon was forced to make two brilliant one-handed saves to deny Laura Alleway and teenager Hayley Raso.
But just when it looked like the Ferns would break the long-standing drought against an under-strength Australian squad - missing a wealth of international players currently involved in overseas club campaigns - Slatyer came the rescue.
"There's a great deal of character (in the squad)," Sermanni said.
"We've got a lot of debutants and inexperience in the team. We've got a bright future ahead.
"Given the circumstances, I was pleased with the number of chances we created because we haven't played together much at all.
"New Zealand are right at the peak of their preparation for the Olympics, very well organised and well drilled."
New Zealand won the Oceania confederation's qualifying event to book its spot for London but Australia missed out in Asian qualification.
After a scoreless first half, New Zealand controlled possession and looked threatening.
Hayley Moorwood combined with Hannah Wilkinson in the box without success then pulled the trigger straight at Matildas keeper Melissa Barbieri.
But the pressure finally told in the 50th minute when Moorwood headed back at the near post, leaving Barbieri a helpless spectator.
The Matildas refused to give in, though, and the fightback left Sermanni upbeat about the future.
"The draw is incredibly significant," he said.
"It will give the players, especially the new ones, a lot of confidence."
Australia line-up: 1.Melissa Barbieri (gk) (c), 2.Teigen Allen (11.Catherine Cannuli 55'), 3.Ashley Brown (16.Hayley Raso 65'), 4.Clare Polkinghorne (17.Teresa Polias 83'), 5.Laura Alleway, 7.Caitlin Foord, 9.Sarah Walsh (24.Georgia Yeoman-Dale 74'), 13.Thea Slatyer, 19.Stephanie Catley, 22.Ellie Brush (6. Ellyse Perry 72'), 23. Alanna Kennedy (15. Renee Rollason 88').
John Boultbee is set to relinquish his role as Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) Head of National Teams to take up a role as honorary head of World Rowing (FISA).