Incredible photos of Sam Kerr emerge after Matildas' heartbreak

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Matildas captain Sam Kerr shared a touching moment with friend an US Women's Team rival Kristie Mewis after the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics. Pictures: Getty Images
Matildas captain Sam Kerr shared a touching moment with friend an US Women's Team rival Kristie Mewis after the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics. Pictures: Getty Images

All throughout the Tokyo Olympics there have been displays of sportsmanship between athletes.

Matildas captain Sam Kerr and Team USA rival Kristie Mewis added to the examples of international camaraderie in the wake of the Americans' 4-3 victory in the bronze medal match.

INCREDIBLE: Devastating family tragedies behind Melissa Wu's Olympic history

'SACRIFICED HIMSELF': Aussie's incredible act for Olympics teammate

It was a tough end to what had otherwise been a largely impressive Olympic campaign for the Matildas, who had genuine aspirations for gold.

Megan Rapinoe's magnificent Olimpico - a goal scored directly from a corner kick - gave the US the advantage in the eighth minute, with Kerr equalising in the 17th.

Rapinoe volleyed the world champions back in front, then Carli Lloyd scored either side of half-time to make it 4-1.

Caitlin Foord hit back in the 54th while Emily Gielnik scored a 90th-minute belter - but the Matildas went home empty-handed.

"Coming so close to a medal is completely heartbreaking," vice-captain Steph Catley said.

The heartbreak and sheer extracting toll the Olympics can take on athletes was exemplified by images of an exhausted Kerr and Mewis sharing a moment on the ground together after the match.

The images also fanned rumours of their pair being in a relationship, with Kerr and Mewis having exchanged various Instagram comments that have led to fans speculating about a potential romance.

"Glad to see you're committing to your new number," Mewis commented on a photo of Kerr with her Matildas teammates prior to the Games, to which Kerr replied "committing to you more then 2 [sic]."

We'll wait and see whether anything comes of the rumoured romance between the two.

Matildas lose to US in bronze medal match

Matildas goalkeeper Teagan Micah brilliantly tipped Christen Press' eighth-minute shot over the bar - but was beaten by Rapinoe's direct effort from the subsequent corner.

Australia hit back nine minutes later when Foord slipped through to Kerr, who finished from a tight angle on her left.

It was Kerr's 48th international goal, overtaking Lisa De Vanna as the Matildas' all-time top scorer.

Just four minutes later, Alanna Kennedy mis-hit a defensive clearance straight to Rapinoe, who restored the US' lead with a cracking volley.

A minute into injury time, Lindsey Horan supplied a ball through for Lloyd to rifle a brilliant left-footed strike past Micah.

In the 51st minute, Kennedy, running under a high ball with Lloyd, under-cooked a header back to Micah, with Lloyd pouncing to nutmeg the stranded goalkeeper and make it a three-goal lead.

Australia hit back when Foord headed home in the 54th - but three minutes later, Kerr's seemingly goal-bound flick-header cruelly deflected off the post to safety.

Gielnik gave Australia late hope when she sizzled home a powerful strike - but unlike their quarter-final, there was no last-minute hero.

The Matildas were shattered after losing the bronze medal match to the USA at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Zhizhao Wu/Getty Images)
The Matildas were shattered after losing the bronze medal match to the USA at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Zhizhao Wu/Getty Images)

Catley and coach Tony Gustavsson lauded the Matildas' progress since their first camp together in April and expected their Olympics disappointment to drive them towards the 2023 Women's World Cup.

"I said in the circle that I actually hope we never forget the feeling we felt after this loss - because that feeling, we never want to feel again," Gustavsson said.

"We need to use that as fuel to make sure we work really hard from now on to get one day better.

"Come that World Cup 2023 we want to have the feeling we had when we played GB ... that excitement and celebration - to win."

With AAP

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting