The Opals have lost 86-73 to the United States.
The Opals have lost 86-73 to the United States. Thinkstock

US shines against Opal

THE Australian Opals have suffered heartbreak in the semi-finals of the women's basketball after going down 86-73 to the United States.

Only one game away from the gold medal match and leading 47-43 at half time, the Australians could not capitalise on their advantage, suffering another loss against their long time rivals.

The Opals started strongly in the match, opening a 22-20 lead at quarter time before extending their advantage at half time.

However, the Americans fought back in the second half, outscoring the Australians 22-12 in the third quarter, before sealing the match with some quality basketball.

Superstars Elizabeth Cambage (19 points, seven rebounds) and Lauren Jackson (14 points, 17 rebounds) lead the way for the Opals, while Tina Charles (14 points, four assists, 10 rebounds) was a constant threat for the US. 

The Australians will play the loser of France and Russia in the bronze medal match.