'Pathetic': Olympic viewers rage over 'disrespectful' Matildas farce

Pictured here, Matildas players look upset after losing their bronze medal match to the USA.
A curious broadcasting decision left Matildas fans fuming on Thursday evening. Pic: Getty

The Matildas' quest for an Olympic Games medal ended in dramatic fashion against heavyweights the United States, who prevailed in a seven-goal thriller in Tokyo 4-3.

However, it was a curious decision from host broadcaster Channel Seven that left many Aussie fans frustrated and angry.

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Two goals apiece for American superstars Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd gave the reigning Olympic champions a thrilling 4-3 win.

A goal for Aussie captain Sam Kerr, plus late strikes to Caitlin Foord and substitute Emily Gielnik set up a grandstand finish for the Aussies, who ultimately came up agonisingly short.

The bronze medal match kicked off at 6pm (AEST) meaning it was relegated to 7Two to accomodate Seven News.

But it was the network's decision to then shift the match to 7Mate at halftime that left Aussie viewers baffled and scrambling for their remote controls.

The Matildas are arguably Australia's most popular women's national team and many thought they deserved to be shown on the main channel once the news had finished.

Instead, Seven decided to show a replay of the Aussie women's sensational semi-final win from earlier in the morning.

The decision led to plenty of outrage on social media, with fans describing at as a "pathetic" and "disrespectful" act from the network.

Rapinoe, who refused to speculate on her international future after the semi-final loss to Canada, struck either side of Kerr's equaliser in Kashima that saw her become Australia's all-time leading scorer.

Lloyd drilled in a third for the Americans just before half-time on her 312th international appearance - second only behind Kristine Lilly, whose 354 caps are the most in the history of the sport.

The 39-year-old Lloyd added a fourth early in the second half after more suspect Australian defending, with a rousing comeback from the Matildas coming up just short despite goals from Foord and Gielnik.

American coach Vlatko Andonovski recalled both Rapinoe and Lloyd to the line-up following the USA's first defeat to Canada in 20 years that ruined their hopes of a fifth Olympic title in seven editions.

Matildas forward Caitlin Foord reacts after losing the bronze medal match against the United States.
The Aussie players looked shattered after coming up just short of a first Olympic Games medal in football. Pic: Getty (JEFF PACHOUD via Getty Images)

Sam Kerr sets national goal-scoring record

This was a much more absorbing contest than the 0-0 draw between the teams in the group stage, with Rapinoe putting the USA ahead on eight minutes when she whipped in a corner that flashed beyond Australia goalkeeper Teagan Micah.

Kerr edged ahead of Lisa De Vanna with her 48th international goal, squeezing the ball past Adrianna Franch - in for the injured Alyssa Naeher - to bring Australia level on the quarter-hour.

Franch then flew to her right to palm away a Kerr header, but Rapinoe soon punished a miscued clearance by Alanna Kennedy, rifling home a superb volley to put the Americans back in front.

Australia were again made to pay for losing the ball deep inside their own half as Lindsey Horan slipped in Lloyd, the two-time Olympic gold medallist and World Cup winner smacking her shot inside the far post.

More ponderous defending by Australia, without the suspended Ellie Carpenter following her red card against Sweden, allowed Lloyd to get in behind the backline and make it 4-1 early in the second half.

But to their credit Australia continued to threaten and were rewarded when an unmarked Foord headed beyond Franch with more than 30 minutes still to play.

Kerr watched her header agonisingly spin away from goal after rebounding off the post, while Gielnik's searing drive from distance in the final minute came in vain.

with AFP

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