Kerr goal no consolation as Matildas drop out of World Cup
The elation of scoring a goal for the ages means little to Matildas captain Sam Kerr after her side’s gut-wrenching elimination from the Women’s World Cup.
Sam Kerr after Australia's World Cup semi-final loss to England. Photo: Daniela Porcelli /SPP/SIPA USA
Kerr’s thunderbolt in the 63rd minute looked to have flipped Wednesday’s meeting with England on its head as she sent the Stadium Australia crowd into a frenzy.
But the glee of her majestic 30-yard rocket was short lived with the Lionesses qualifying for Sunday’s final with two late goals that secured them a 3-1 win.
Kerr has had to endure a frustrating tournament, only returning in cameo stints in the knockout stages after missing the entire group stage with a calf problem.
The semi-final defeat was her first start of the competition.
The fact the Matildas had even got this far without her was an achievement but Kerr could not help but feel devastated by the semi-final exit.
“All I can think about is disappointment right now,” Kerr told reporters when asked about her goal.
“I think that’s kind of the only thing that’s keeping me smiling right now, is the way that we’ve inspired the nation, everyone’s got behind us.
“The tournament’s been amazing, every single team, player, person that’s visited has said how beautiful our country is.
“So I think for us, it’s been hopefully life-changing for women’s football in Australia.”
Kerr had a number of chances late in the game to draw Australia level but the Matildas skipper was unable to convert, blasting one over the bar and having another cleared off the line.
It is unclear how she will be used in Saturday’s third-place play-off against Sweden in Brisbane given her heavy load in the quarter-final and semi-final.
Coach Tony Gustavsson said Kerr was beating herself up for her failure to get the Matildas back into the game.
Kerr said England’s composure was the difference between the two sides after the Lionesses hit them on the counter late in the game to seal victory.
“There was only a couple of moments in the game and I guess they took theirs,” Kerr said.
“I thought it was honestly pretty even and from where I was sitting it kind of ebbed and flowed each way but after we scored I thought we were going to go and score another.
“Then they kind of took momentum back so I guess it felt like it would have been a great game to watch honestly from where I was.”