Sam Kerr has won the hearts of football fans around the world after a beautiful moment with a young spectator after the Matildas' win over France at the Women's World Cup on Saturday. The Matildas advanced to the semi-finals for the first time in history after a pulsating penalty shootout saw them prevail 7-6.
Superstar striker Kerr came off the bench once again and ended up playing about 65 minutes as the game went to extra time and penalties after a 0-0 stalemate in regulation time. Kerr was spotted in a quiet moment of reflection on the bench while her teammates celebrated the historic victory, before she produced a moment of absolute class for a young female fan.
Optus Sport captured the moment Kerr took off her playing top and walked towards the spectator before giving it to her in a wonderful gesture. The young girl was absolutely beside herself to have received Kerr's jersey and to meet undoubtedly one of her idols.
.@samkerr1 and the most selfless act of this tournament so far.
After winning the most historic match in her lifetime, she hands her match-worn shirt to an adoring fan 🇦🇺#FIFAWWC #OptusSport pic.twitter.com/2yqDhxh83W
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) August 12, 2023
The girl couldn't stop smiling as her family embraced her and checked out Kerr's game-worn top. “Sam Kerr has given her shirt to a fan. Can you even imagine being that child?" Optus Sport host Amy Duggan said.
American star Jess McDonald responded: “Those are some of the best moments for children. When equipment is being handed over by the best players in world and there’s no one better than Sam Kerr.” Viewers were full of praise for Kerr after the wonderful moment.
She didn't just chuck it up, she whispered something in her ear. Priceless
— Sami Dowd (@samidowd) August 12, 2023
That's awesome. That little girl will remember that moment for all of her life. She looks so excited.
— Rossco (@rossco1304) August 12, 2023
That’s just momentous and awesome for that little fan 🥰
— Paula McGrady (@PaulaMcGrady) August 12, 2023
Her face, it means the world to her 😍
— Jo Cornick 🐾 (@Mojo_cornick) August 12, 2023
What a beautiful moment to end an amazing performance. Making memories…#Tillitsdone
— Northstorm (@Northstorm20) August 12, 2023
Pure class. Inspiring a new generation of fans.
— Hamstersaurus Rex (@barrytcotter) August 12, 2023
Will Sam Kerr start against England in semi-final?
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson is now facing the dilemma of whether or not to start Kerr in their semi-final clash with England on Wednesday night. Kerr revealed after the game on Saturday night that her goal was always to be fully-fit by the semi-finals after injuring her calf before the tournament.
"I mean, that's like the million dollar question, right?" Kerr said. "But with everything that's been going on, the best thing for today was the plan we did and the plan we followed and when I hurt my calf, the plan was to always like, be ready for semi-final time.
"So I could have started but who knows what could have happened? The girls have been smashing it and absolutely dominating, so I think the plan went pretty well."
Gustavsson added: "It was a massive decision before the game to leave her on the bench. Then it was about the timing. You want the timing right.
"I was informed that she had limited minutes today. Then we needed to put extra time into consideration. What is the risk that she pulls the calf and how many minutes does she actually have?
"That was a massive decision to get that right. I think that we got it right and we should have scored. We had them but then when Sam came on we really had them on the hook."
Sam Kerr explains reflective moment after win over France
Kerr said she would've played with one calf if it meant being able to help her teammates. "I'm just happy that I'm back on and the girls are smashing it and we're doing well, with the country behind us here," she said. "I was ready to go. But we've had a plan this whole tournament and we just had to stick to it."
Channel 7 cameras captured Kerr sitting by herself on the bench while her teammates celebrated on the field. She later explained: “After the game when everyone was celebrating I just took a moment to myself on the bench.
“We just kept saying we cannot believe it. We’ve grown up together, us girls, and we’ve always talked about this and known we can do it. We’ve just fallen short (in the past), so I think the fact that we’ve got to a semi-final in a World Cup now, we’re just all so shocked. Oh my god, I just can’t believe it.”
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