Australia clinched dramatic last gasp win over England as Caitlin Bassett's late goal maintained the tournament favourites' 100% record in pool B at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The Delhi silver medallists staged a comeback from three goals down in the final quarter, and snatched the victory with 15 seconds remaining to win 49-48, despite England leading for much of the contest.
Lisa Alexander's team are now all but through to the semi-final, and while England's medal hopes are far from over, they require victories in each of their last three games to reach the knock-out phase.
"I'm disappointed in many ways but we made them work for that win today and I think we should be very proud of that," coach Anna Mayes said "I thought we were relentless on defence. We needed to be a bit more clinical in attack on occasions and we generally feel we could have pulled away a little bit more in that third quarter. I a game like that tey're not just going to role over and let you win.
"I think that Australia are very tenacious as expected and I thought we showed real composure. I thought Serena Guthrie was excellent in terms of the calmness and composure because she took some heavy knows and I thought she was outstanding today.
"Throughout the game we had opportunities where we needed to push on, which we needed to. You can't leave a margin by three or four against a team like this, they wil come right back at you and that was the case today."
After completing a first ever series win over Australia in 2013, England were hoping to translate their recent dominance over the Delhi silver medalists onto the major international stage.
Both sides had secured emphatic wins over Wales in their opening pool B matches and knew a second successive victory would all-but secure top spot ahead of matches against the lowest ranked teams in the group, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobabgo and Barbados.
And it was England who sought the early initiative, with Joanne Harten influential as they took a 16-10 lead after the first quarter, while the Australian struggling to cope with the physicality of the team in red.
The 6 ft 3 ins frame of goal-shooter Caitlin Bassett was providing Australia with a genuine focal point in attack, and the world champion from 2001 helped the tournament favourites close the gap to just a single point going into the half-time break.
However, the break merely disrupted Australia's momentum as England rediscovered their intensity from the first quarter as the frustration of their opponents began to boil over, with Serena Guthrie a constant victim.
England led by three points heading into the last 15 minutes and after Australia drew level, Joanne Harten's miss allowed Bassett to grab the win in the closing seconds.