Report: Australians plan to hold back against Team USA in preparation for potential rematch

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Team USA’s highly anticipated matchup with Australia might not live up to the billing.

By Australia’s design.

Before the 6 p.m. Eastern group-play game – which can be seen on NBC Sports Network or online here – Australia is leaking its strategy.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

This game just helps determine which four of the six Group A teams advance to the knockout stage.

At 2-0 with wins over France and Serbia, Australia is heavily favored to advance. Australia will likely beat its last two opponents in group play, China and Venezuela.

If Australia meets the Americans again, it would in a higher-stakes semifinal or medal game. So, I get the idea of holding back.

I just don’t think the Australians will beat Team USA regardless. But if they think this is their optimal strategy, more power to them.