Kerr stars but Matildas share the love in China rout

It was Sam Kerr’s night yet again but both the Matildas star and her coach Alen Stajcic are eager to share the praise around.

Nov 23, 2017, updated Nov 23, 2017
Sam Kerr celebrates a goal against China. Photo: Joe Castro / AAP

Sam Kerr celebrates a goal against China. Photo: Joe Castro / AAP

Kerr struck twice in Australia’s 3-0 defeat of China at AAMI Park last night, securing a sixth-straight win for the high-flying Matildas.

The second was a goal that must be seen to be believed.

The 24-year-old chased a throw-in, allowing the ball to drop, before arrowing a shot into the back of the net from distance.

JUST WOW! Sam Kerr scores an absolute ROCKET!!



— CommBank Matildas (@TheMatildas) November 22, 2017

“I don’t score a lot from outside the box, that’s more Katrina Gorry’s territory,” she said after the match.

“It’s a bit new for me so it’s definitely one of my favourite goals.”

The double was Kerr’s ninth national team goal in her last five outings.

It’s a remarkable strike rate and even more so when you consider she’s outstripped her goal tally from her first 50 Matildas matches.

Coach Stajcic was keen to see both Kerr and her teammates lap up the moment.

“The patterns that create space and time for her is a whole team effort. She can’t do anything on her own,” he said.

“She’s assisted many goals and many people have assisted her.

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“To see her with such form and confidence, it gives them a boost.”

Best afield might have gone to Emily Van Egmond, who dictated terms as an anchoring midfielder.

Stajcic hailed Van Egmond’s showing in a new role he’s thrown her into this year.

“The defending part of the game wasn’t her strongest suit possibly 12 months ago but we saw (tonight) how many tackles she did,” he said.

“I thought she controlled the game with the ball, it was a complete performance from her and some good set pieces as well.”

Versatility has become an obsession for Stajcic, who has thrown his players into new roles under his tenure.

Steph Catley’s substitution at half-time with an ankle injury forced another re-jig, but Stajcic said her replacement, Chloe Logarzo, shined.

“Her work rate is that of two players. We really didn’t lose anything,” he said.

“Caitlin Foord (moved to) left-back where she hasn’t played for two years in this team and she didn’t miss a beat.”

Kerr said the team was working as well as she’s seen it.

“It’s the strongest, and we have the most depth, that I’ve ever seen in the Matildas,” she said.


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